Mother's Day. I have a love hate relationship with the holiday. 14 years ago I had my first Mother's Day without my mother. She had died in January of 2002. The hole that was inside me was the Grand Canyon of grief. She was 56. She was 10 years older then I am now. For me, she had not done all that she was meant to do. She would miss my college graduation, my Masters Degree, my Toastmasters success, meeting my husband, seeing me get married... she missed so much of what could have been. The whole in my heart is still the Grand Canyon of grief only know I go in to the canyon to visit her. I am the living embodiment of her and I am the best memory of her. She lives within me. And when it comes to Mother's Day, I hate it. I hate the commercials, the cards, the sales, and seeing women with their mothers. But I also have many reasons to celebrate it.
My Stepmom, or Mom as her call her now that the canyon feels a little smaller. She has been a part of my life since I was 9 years old. She has been married to my father for 34 years. She put up with my snarky, crappy attitude through my teen years. Janet has shown me unconditional love. Something I want to celebrate and cherish on Mother's Day. She has been filling that canyon with love and joy. She has never wanted to nor has she ever taken my mother's place. She has made it possible for me to have a mom. Someone to lean on. I want to embrace the happiness that is Mother's Day. I want to hold it in my arms and feel the warmth.
So this year I am deciding to love Mother's Day. To love the sweet pain of grief, the memories of my mother, the happiness I hope my Stepmom feels when she gets her card. There is sweet relief in feeling some pain, shedding some tears for the person you love and lost.
So bring it on commercials, store ads, and whatever else is swirling around me leading up to Sunday. It's ok. I know that my love hate relationship is changing. Because I am the best memory of not just one woman, but two.