What will Mother’s Day be like without Mom?


This is to be Mother’s Day?

It doesn’t feel like it’s supposed to go like this.

I’ve read countless posts about daughters planning to celebrate with their mothers.

About bountiful brunch feasts. About women so thankful to hold their children close.

Then, I look around and think about my holiday.

This year. This Mother’s Day.

This will be the first without my mother, who passed last August.

There will be no celebrating with her, I tell myself.

Over and over.

It’s not that she ever made a big deal about the day,

She didn’t with most holidays.

But at least she was here and a phone call away.

I could hear her voice and wish her, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I could hear her say the same to me.

We also celebrated my journey with motherhood with my daughter.

And what about that kid?

This year, Mother’s Day falls on the same weekend as my daughter’s high school graduation.

The weekend will not be about holding her close but rather letting her go.

She is so ready and so excited.

My turn is about up.

“This is a not so funny joke,” I say to myself.

I’ve been thinking about what I see as my losses.

My mother gone.

My daughter leaving.

Maybe your Mother’s Day is like this, too, Dear Reader?

About missing a mother who is not here.

About kids who are far away?

I binge on these sad thoughts like an open bag of sea salt potato chips.

It is then that I actually do hear my mother’s voice.

Not over the phone, or in person, as I was longing.

Rather in my head (here she swore it would never leave).

“I’m going to haunt you the rest of your life,” she half-joked in her final days, promising to do to me what her mother did to her.

And so she haunts.

Corrects.

Redefines this time.

“This isn’t about loss,” she says. “This is how this is all supposed to work.”

A mother lives a long life, her daughter will see her out, just as the mother saw her in.

As I did for you, you did for me.

And, if you raise your kid right, she will be ready to go.

“She is your daughter. Not your pet. Your job is to raise her to be independent.”

I will focus on Mom’s words as Daughter walks down the aisle in her cap and gown, smiling with the excitement of what’s to come.

I realize now Mom will be here this weekend.

Even at graduation.

I haven’t lost her. She returns.

Just as I hope Daughter will often come back to me.

Pomp and Circumstance will be the background music to Mom’s words.

“Job well done, Daughter.”

For keeping your heart open for me to drop in.

For raising a kid who is ready to go.

These are reasons to truly celebrate.

This is motherhood. This is exactly as it should be.



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