Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate and spoil your mom. She has done so much for you, and she is worthy of a holiday. However, what if this is not your reality?
What if your mother is deployed? What if your mother is estranged? What if your mother has passed away? This day, as well as many others, will be a sad reminder that your situation may be somewhat different than others.
In June 6, 2008, I was excited to move back home (Illinois) from California, and I was even more excited that Matt and I were getting married in a week. As we started our cross country drive, I discovered that my mother was in the hospital.
On June 9th, we arrived at the hospital, my mom was full of smiles talking about the events of the wedding week. She couldn’t wait! As the minutes ticked by, I could see something leaving my beautiful mother. She continued to brush it off saying, “I told the nurses to discharge me by the end of the day because I have too much to do!” We all laughed, but we had a strange feeling that we wouldn’t be leaving quite so soon.
Fast forward to the 11th, and our family was given the horrific decision of whether to allow machines to keep my comatose mother alive with absolutely no chance of recovery, or allow her to fly with angels. I couldn’t believe she was going to miss the wedding, my brother graduating in one year, or my sister starting middle school. Why is this happening?
The funeral was planned for Saturday, June 14, 2008. How can my mother’s funeral fall on my wedding day? Matt and I had to make a decision. Do we postpone, or do we get married on Friday, June 13th, before we have to officially let her go?
As I walked outside, on June 13th, it started to rain, so when we got to the church, I smoothed out my messy hair, begrudgingly put on the wedding dress that my mother loved so much, and married my husband without her. It was all a blur.
After the funeral, I was given a piece of paper with a poem that my mother read for Mother’s Day at church only one month before she died. This is what the paper said, “I’d try to make more mistakes next time, I would limber up, I know very few things I’d take seriously anymore. I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would scale more mountains, I would swim more rivers, And I would watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream (and fewer beans), I would have more actual troubles, and fewer imaginary ones. You see, if I had it to do all over again I’d travel lighter, much lighter. I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, And I’d stay that way later in the fall. I would greet more people, And pick more flowers, and dance more often. If I had it to do all over again…But you see, I don’t.”
As I sat on my porch, May 11, 2017, I watched a large cloud pass by, and two of the most beautiful rainbows bloomed out of nowhere. I know she’s here, I know she loves me, I know she loves her grandkids, and I will try to always remember the good times.
I ran into the house to write this article, and I was reminded that this Mother’s Day, I need to cherish every moment because no one gets to do it over again.