Mother’s Day is a tricky holiday for me. You see, I lost my mother years ago to Multiple Sclerosis, and while my relationship with my mother was complicated, she was still my mom.
Since her death, I’ve had other women come into my life, other mothers who have helped fill the mom-shaped hole in my heart, a hole that began to form years before her death. (Her long-term illness affected our family in cruel a bizarre ways, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Since her death, I’ve also become a mom myself. I still have moments where this seems unreal! Life is strange. There’s NO instruction manual for ANY of this, though it seems like there SHOULD be one.
Anyway, I’m very grateful to have been surrounded and blessed with an abundance of mothers this year, my step-mom and my mother-in-law especially. This Mother’s Day I felt…whole and complete, an unexpected emotion all things considered. My sister and I talked about our mother, but I didn’t feel the ache inside of me like I have in the past. I still miss my mom. I still wish she’d lived long enough to have met her grandchild, but this year was different. I don’t know how this all works exactly. Maybe I’M the one who’s different.
People like to make quotes about time healing emotions, but I don’t think that’s true. I think you have to be actively engaged to heal yourself emotionally. I don’t think there’s an easy way out. I think you need to work at being whole. No one is going to “fix” you. No one is going to make you become a complete person. People you love and care about WILL disappoint you. You WILL disappoint other people. That’s life. And…I don’t think there’s a finish line, a place where you can say, “Ah ha! I’m all done!!!” You’re NEVER done. Life keeps throwing stuff at you. But I do think you can feel happy again, even after a loss. I do believe that if you WANT to feel whole again, AND you’re actively trying to heal yourself, you will eventually be blessed with people who’ve been there before, people who will help you get through it.
Have a great day!
6 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Reflections”
Great post, Juli.
I agree wholeheartedly…you have to make yourself happy. It’s no one else’s responsibility. We have to move past our heartaches and find our way to be happy again. The alternative is to be miserable because of all the bad stuff that happens, and I refuse to do that. And I’m glad you refuse, too!
Thanks Lauralynn. 🙂
I’m sorry about your mom. MS is never easy, and in a way, it’s one of those things that nobody in a family can escape from. I think that for loss, you sometimes have to embrace it full on to start to recover, and that can seem too scary. But it’s easier to feel happy than it is to feel sad once you’ve already started down that path.
People always seem to think they have to take care of me. (I must look miserable. Lol) I’ve been semi-adopted many a time, People can help you feel better, but we’re all in charge of ourselves where it counts. I’ve never been ready to be “mammied” (I can’t handle being close to anyone who doesn’t live in my house), and I only learned to heal from things when I learned how to take care of myself really. The negative stuff takes up far too much energy, and it only hurts us. So yeah, it’s a journey, and nobody else can magically make us content, so it’s worth the effort of working on ourselves.
(I was wondering why everyone was suddenly posting about mothers – mother’s day is in March here).
Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you!
You’re right about embracing death full on at the start. I didn’t, not really. I kept myself busy. I tried not to dwell on it. But…it’s not like her death went away.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that not only does it “take a village to raise a child,” we’re ALL part of this weird “village.” 🙂 I kind of like that! I like feeling like I’m a part of something that’s bigger than myself. The older I get, the more I find myself listening to stories and advice from people who are older than myself. It’s strange. When I was in my twenties, I didn’t really listen to advice, “helpful” or otherwise. But as I got older, I suppose I’ve changed. Over the years, I seem to have collected quite a few mentors.
I think it’s nice to be “mammied” every once in awhile. There are days when I NEED another mother’s thoughts and advice. Not so much regarding child rearing, but for life in general. At work, I’m often the person who’s suppose to have all the answers, sometimes it’s nice to NOT be the “parent” for a change. 😉