I think of my mom, pretty much always; however, I’ve been thinking about her a lot in the days leading up to today. It is Mother’s Day, after all.
I’ve been thinking about the fact that my mom became a mother on the day I was born and again when each of my brothers was born. How she must have been elated, much as I was when I welcomed each one of my four into the world.
She must have been equally as devastated when she learned her body was failing her and her days as our mother were coming to an end. What she may not have realized is that, even in death, she would continue to be our mother. To mother.
As I mother my children her voice is so clear in my mind — so clear, yet so distant. When I say that I mean that, while the sound of her voice may have faded over time, her words of wisdom — her advice — still rings clearly in my mind.
I suppose that, though she left us many years too soon, you could say she accomplished much. She taught us manners and grace; thankfulness and humility. She demonstrated selflessness and love, humour and wit, strength, acceptance and kindness. She left a legacy. One I hope I can live up to.
And while I have long since found peace in her passing, hurt, pain, regret and sadness linger. These are feelings that will dull but never dissipate — and I’m okay with that. I don’t wish to associate my mother with pain, but when that twinge of sadness enters my heart I am reminded of her, perhaps because it is at those times when I feel most vulnerable that I need her the most.
Ironically, I happened by this album of old photos and homemade cards recently and the breath kind of got sucked out of me all over again. So timely, yet so cruel. A life untold, in a photograph. My grandmother, beaming, with her young daughter. My mother. A future so seemingly certain.
And tucked away with the photograph are cards.
Homemade cards that my mother made for her mother. They must be over 50 years old and I hold them as precious as my grandmother must have held them on the day she received them. Even then, she loved birds.
I turn the page to find more homemade cards — cards that I made, probably 30 years ago, for my mom on Mother’s Day. Crayons and pencil. English and French. I look at them, brush my fingers lightly across them, and I laugh. But the laugh catches in my throat, threatening to crack. Tears spill down my cheeks.
It is a moment that, blessedly, has gone uninterrupted by my children, for I shall have my time with them. For now, I am thankful to have had those few quiet minutes to myself to just feel the longing for something I have missed for so many years of my life: to be mothered.