Missing a Mom




I love holidays, and Mother's Day was always one of my favorites.  My mother passed on years ago. Since then, a deep-down ache would begin the week before.  Commercials and sentiments about the day didn't help. When our son moved far away, I decided to handle the holiday differently.  I thought my strategy could help others.

Embrace the day.

I discovered that ignoring missing and an upsurge of grief is denial.  In the end it adds to the heartache.  How do I embrace the holiday now?

The week before I make a picture collage with those photographs that might be stuffed in a closet.  I take the time to remember how much my mom meant to me and I to her.  Or...I have a notebook of short stories my mom wrote when she was in college and some years I excavate those and learn about a younger side of her I didn't know.  Or...I unpack a box in my closet where I store some of her keepsakes, like her wedding album and an account of my parents' travels on their honeymoon.  The memories have become more sweet than bittersweet over the years and now I feel almost joyful as I remember.

But the best way to appreciate the day all over again is to talk to my son and spend time with others I love.  We have friends with children.  Visiting with them, playing games, reveling in the sunshine remind me that I'm a mom, too.  I have love to spread that reaches beyond my family.  I believe this is how my mom would want me to spend the day--living life to the fullest and remembering the love she gave away.

 
©2012 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's website 

     

10 comments:

Louisa Bacio on May 10, 2012 at 1:35 AM said...

Thank you for sharing your way of coping, Karen. I'm blessed with a wonderful stepmom, but lost my mother when I was 14. It's such a difficult journey, and I'm glad you've found some peace.

KRS on May 10, 2012 at 6:43 AM said...

Louisa--it took a long time. I don't think anything has affected me as deeply. I'm so glad you have your stepmom to appreciate. Thanks for commenting.

Tami Clayton on May 10, 2012 at 8:11 AM said...

Beautiful post, Karen. What a great way to remember your mother and celebrate the day.

KRS on May 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM said...

Tami--Thanks. I appreciate you stopping by.

Elaine Smothers on May 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM said...

This is beautiful, Karen! I'm missing my Mom too, for 13 years now. Holidays and anniversaries are still especially difficult, although no day is ever easy. Thanks for sharing the beautiful ways you commemorate your Mom on Mother's Day.

Julie Farrar on May 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM said...

Beautiful post, Karen. I agree it doesn't get tremendously easier as each year passes.

Sara Walpert Foster on May 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM said...

Lovely. My Mom is still around but I feel that same ache thinking about my grandmother who was a second mother to me (and perhaps closer to me than anyone else). I love the idea of taking time to do something that reminds you of your mother the week before. It's a wonderful tribute and a way to feel good in remembering what you shared.

KRS on May 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM said...

Elaine--Birthday months, anniversary months and holidays are hard still. So I have to find a way to celebrate. Thanks for commenting.

KRS on May 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM said...

Julie--Sometimes I think we believe if we let go of the missing, we'll let go of the love. Thanks for stopping by.

KRS on May 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM said...

Sara--After my mom passed on, I asked my husband's godmother if she'd be my second mom and she was. We lost her this year. So cherishing the memories is so important. Thanks for commenting.