I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve decided to get a bit personal with this post. I’ve been intending to share this part of my story for months, but to be honest I’ve been procrastinating because I know writing about it forces me to be vulnerable. There’s no recipe, no ideas and no DIY project with this post. Just me.
So why get personal? I know that I am not the only one who is feeling this way when spring rolls around. I’m sure I’m not the only one with a deep ache that reignites for weeks leading up to today. If you’ve felt that ache, you know exactly what I’m referring to.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am absolutely in favor of celebrating Mother’s Day – I think moms deserve much more than one day of celebration. But for many people, Mother’s Day feels like a deeper gash in an already existing wound.
For me, this year is the first year without my mom. After battling pancreatic cancer for about two years, my mom died on February 12th at about 10:15am. Last year at this time, she was struggling to continue treatment. I vividly remember strolling through the aisles of the grocery store one afternoon last spring. I walked past the greeting card section and thought I’d glance around for a Mother’s Day card. A wave of emotion crashed over me the instant I began reading Mother’s Day cards. I just lost it and practically ran out of the store. I couldn’t bear to stand there and think about buying what would likely be the last Mother’s Day card I would ever give my mom.
I don’t mean to tell a sob story. I’m not looking to complain or proclaim myself a victim – because honestly, I have no reason to do that. I had the best mom anyone could ever ask for. (I think the term “supermom” was coined as soon as my mom had kids.) I simply want to share a piece of my story because I know that I am not the only one who is grieving this Mother’s Day.
I grieve for those who never experienced a loving mother, those whose heart craves the chance to be that loving mother, those who are struggling in the midst of motherhood, those who like me have lost the most incredible of mothers. Today, I will joyfully be celebrating the wonderful mothers in my life who deserve this holiday and so much more – and I will be remembering those who quietly wish someone knew how painful this holiday really is.
The photos throughout this post are of my mom when she was about my age. I’ll be sharing more recent photos of my mom in future posts, but I’ve had so much fun over the last few months looking at old pictures that I couldn’t help but share some of them with you. Today, even though she is gone, I’m celebrating. I’m celebrating the fact that I had an incredible mother who demonstrated an unwavering faith in Jesus and loved others with the love I hope I can someday emulate. Yet in the midst of my celebration, my heart aches because I miss her more than words can express. I realize I can’t call her to wish her a “Happy Mother’s Day”. And I weep.
If it’s all you can do to escape the greeting card aisle at the grocery store when the Mother’s Day cards ominously stare you in the face, know that you’re not alone. I celebrate you and encourage you to share your story with family or friends. If you’re not sure who wants to hear you out or what to say, share your story with us. From the bottom of our hearts, we’d love to hear from you and we want you to know that we hear you, we grieve with you and we celebrate you.
This photo is of my parents on their honeymoon. They had been married nearly 48 years when my mom passed away.
To hear a bit more about the story of my mother and our journey in the midst of her cancer, click here. You’ll read the words of my dad, who has exemplified what it means to be a loving husband more than anyone I have ever known in my entire life.
For those struggling this Mother’s Day, especially due to infertility and the loss of a child, read my cousin’s story on her blog. You will truly be encouraged.