This is my third Mother’s Day without my mom, although I don’t need a special day to think about her. Not a day passes where she doesn’t cross my mind. There is always something I want to share with her, because she always wanted to know. We were her favorite reality show. She used to say that she’d never be ready to leave us, because she’d always want to see what happened next.
On bad days, I think of everything she’s missed. It seems blasphemous that there have been major plot points in our stories that do not include her. We’ve moved on, celebrated joy and success, dealt with setbacks and bad news, introduced new, dear characters into our continuing saga. Our lives roll forward unabated; she is simply no longer a featured player.
On good days I realize that we are able to roll forward in this way because of the love she instilled within us. She may not be physically present, but she is always with us. I know this through our relationships with each other, through the memories we share, in the quiet moments when I close my eyes and imagine her beside me.
I don’t believe we can fully see our parents until they’ve turned the final page of their earthbound stories. Once their biographical framework is complete, we begin to understand more objectively how the events and situations in their lives impacted their decisions and reactions. It becomes easier to recognize their life experiences reflected in our own. This opportunity to know my mother beyond the boundaries of “Mom” has been a gift.
So, happy Mother’s Day, Mom. It’s STILL your story, and your chapters made all the difference in the world.