I have thought about this entry for a few weeks. Actually, I obsessed about the words I would type. I shouldn’t be in the position to have to write these words. My mother should be here kvelling over her granddaughters. She should be here telling me that everything will be alright and that with time, I will get through the rough patches. She should be cooking dinner for our Sunday night gatherings. She should be planning for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. She should be surrounding our family with matriarchal strength, love and warmth.
Instead, I am a motherless-mother.
I lost mom sixteen months ago and this is the first time I have written the words: motherless-mother. I am a motherless-mother.
For those who belong to this club, you understand the pain. Some days are easier than others since you are forced to continue. There are children to raise, a marriage to nourish, work, life….. but underneath it all, the pain is sitting at the surface. It comes out when you see a grandma pushing her grandchild in a stroller, shopping for school clothes together, giggling while out for ice cream. It appears when you feel lonely or low and just need to turn to your strength, mom. The pain grows worse over the holidays or during another missed birthday or milestone.
Then the pain thickens when you remember everything she will miss. I wish I was more religious and believer that somehow, she is still here. There are times that I think she is standing besides me, smiling. Maybe she is not missing everything…..
Who said the pain will lessen? I am constantly reminded that our family will never be the same without mom here in our lives. I am continually aware that what I had was rare and fortunate and I feel for sorry for myself more often than not with our loss.
We get through the holidays and family gatherings with a broken smile and grief in our heart. I try and mask the pain so our children don’t have to see the tears of sadness.
We seek out other motherless-mothers, so we don’t feel so alone. They understand.
We constantly think about our lot in life and how our children are missing out on that unconditional, grandmotherly love.
And then we put one step in front of the other and know that mom would want us to continue on with life. To love our families and cherish every day as if it was the last. Those words use to have no real meaning to me, since I thought mom would never really die.
For those who still have a mom – please, tell her how much she means to you. Spend the holidays together. Share your family time together. Cherish your memories and create new ones. Never go to bed angry at one another. Speak to her often. Hold hands and hug often. Love her and allow her to love you back, as only a mother could.
For someday, you too will be in the motherless-mothers club.