It is the day for reflecting, for remembering and for reliving. Even if I don’t want to, I do. Even if I push it aside it is there. As I talked about last year, it is the sting of the day that is ever present. Seven full years since we lost Mom. I say seven full years not to put impact on the length of time that has passed necessarily but on how full those years have been for all of us, even without her.
I’ve spoken before about how it isn’t that we feel the loss more today, but that for me, once January hits I start checking in with myself more automatically. Beginning because a new year and it inevitably ends with the challenge of reflecting on mom as March sneaks closer. This year as my mind grasped for words for the stage I may be in I think I most certainly had it handed to me.
Seven years later, it is about the “mom moments”.
Not the moments she has missed in our very full lives, though as I talked about last year in saying, “In the simplest of actions, the smallest of moments I feel the sting. The boys learning a childhood song. Mothers becoming grandmothers. The similarity in a picture,” those everyday accolades do have a missing element whether I am consciously aware of it or not. This year and I predict for the years to come it is simply about the moments when a daughter just needs and wants her mother.
As I have observed friends this past year, mothers of friends, professional athletes in a moment of success, celebrations in a moment of joy so many first turn to their mother. To celebrate with them, to thank them for sacrifices, to share in the love and to find comfort in the pain. It isn’t that they don’t think of fathers or want to do the same thing, it is that innately, we turn to the person who carried us and cradled us and regardless of our age, size or situation is sitting with arms and heart open ready to do the same again.
The mom moments. The moment you instinctively reach to call your mom. To hug your mom. To sympathize with your mom and if you’re lucky to share the experience, empathize with your mom.
In being fully honest with myself on where I am this year and in general allow me to share a little for this all to make a bit more sense. In February just as I was full in the process of reflecting – (realizing I have forgotten things about her (sound of her), being reminded by a stranger’s perfume the smell of her, seeing a woman her age with the exact peachy complexion and double-taking, ) we suffered an early miscarriage. As I sat in the depths of really letting myself feel what I wasn’t prepared for after carrying both Caden and Everett successfully, after realizing what was not to be, after feeling the excitement of a new life we had wanted for us and accepting the hiatus from this process that was put upon us, it became very evident where I was in this seven year process. It was about the mom moments.
Seven years later, knowing full and well that she is not here with me, being surrounded by my husband, my sister-in-law and a few close friends supporting me and loving me as I tried to be very open and honest about what I was experiencing so that I could move forward, I simply wanted to talk to my mother. At twenty nine years old I wanted her to hug me, I wanted her to cover me with a blanket tell me “It would all be okay,” and start a craft in the other room with the boys. It isn’t because I wasn’t getting that love and support, but think about it, don’t we just believe our mothers when they comfort us? How many times do you see a toddler be soothed only by his mother’s words, the tone of her voice, the look in her eyes even though someone else had just done the exact same thing?
In the mom moment of it, I just wanted my mother. In the mom moment of it, I was further upset that I still reached for her knowing that option is not a possibility. In the mom moment of it, I felt I had to grieve her loss a little again, while already grieving and processing the what could have been. It is the double sting.
Among all of the joys you so obviously wish you could share, it is also the selfish days. For the weeks the whole family is riddled with the stomach bug, for the days you just want some company, and for the times you want that mother’s intuition to steer you one more time I wish she was here. To swoop on in, a million more times.
A few months ago, in a rare stop me in my tracks moment, after saying our bedtime prayers, Caden, who was talking about me being his Mommy and Colter his Daddy asked me for the first time where my mother was. How does one explain her love to someone who will not meet her? How does one explain where she is without frightening a small child about the possibility of me not being there? How does one tell their firstborn the simplest of answers which is, ‘not here’ while emphasizing the belief of ‘somewhere better’? Even that, was a bit of a mom moment.
There are times when I want that “need” to go away. When I want the instinct to wish for her to fade as sadly as some of she has. But that would be a whole other tragedy. Isn’t there something so beautiful about the love for a mother ? The love for that role in your life and the instinct to need it. The magic of having the role model who filled our childhood memories with what a mother should be and what her children needed. As a mother myself, I hope that my childrens’ need for their mother never fades, no matter the circumstance, no matter the need, no matter the joy, no matter the sadness and no matter the age.
I look at my life with a very grateful heart and know that we are loved. We are supported. We are prayed for. We are given to. We are cared for. We are thought of. We are fortunate.
We are a family.
We are loved.
As is she.
Not was, but IS.
No matter the time passed, no matter the moments missed because there will always be mom moments and that is what is perfectly okay.
(Also fitting Mama Kat’s prompts this week as a challenge.)