If you’re a member of the club, then you know it’s not a fun one to belong to. It can feel sad and lonely during special occasions, celebrations, milestone moments and holidays. And no matter how much time passes, you would do anything and give anything to trade in that membership for one more day. One more day of hugs, smiles, love and laughter. One more day of endless conversation. Just one more day.
Losing a parent is not an easy club to belong to and I joined all too early. I was 15. And every May, I have to conquer the same feeling — as if it was the first time I felt it. There are beautiful blooms at the market, divine brunch celebrations at my favorite restaurants, and the Mother’s Day cards flood the aisles of the local drugstore, all of which act as a constant reminder that she isn’t with me. It’s by far the hardest day of the year.
But last week, a cousin of mine shared this article and it hit me hard. Every single word in this op-ed is exactly how I feel each and every Mother’s Day.
I’M pretty certain it was six years ago. I know I was in a restaurant. I know, too, that I was a little tipsy — that’s the only way the impulse could have come to me, the only way I would have acted on it.
I went through the names programmed into my cellphone, looking for moms. Tina. She was one, so she got a text message: Happy Mother’s Day. Barbara. She was one, so she got a message as well.
So did Adelle, Lisa, Sylvia. Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Mother’s Day. Saying it to all those other mothers, as if that would make up for not being able to say it to my own.
For anyone who has lost a parent long before he or she expected to, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are unsettling occasions, prompts to show appreciation that become prods to revisit grief.
It’s hard to believe that this will be the 14th Mother’s Day without her. A beautiful, kind, sweet spirit who laughed much and loved deeply. No matter how many years pass, it seems like just yesterday when she would sit on the edge of the bed with her warm, comforting smile and stroke my hair as I fell asleep.
This Mother’s Day, I’ll remember that this feeling comes and goes. That happy memories are so powerful in times of sadness. I’ll remember that I’m not alone. And while it isn’t a fun club to belong to, I’m a lifetime member… and might as well raise a glass or two in her honor.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to hug your mom tight this Mother’s Day, be sure to celebrate the time you have together and shower her with endless love and affection. Cherish the day from start to finish and take snapshots of every moment in between. And remember that while it may seem just like any other Sunday, it’s one more day.