Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

I’m Canceling Mother’s Day, A Motherless Daughter’s Story

May has got to be one of the toughest months for me, personally. Why, you might ask? Spring has sprung.  There are signs of new life everywhere you turn.  Everything is fresh and new!  But for me, it is also the month in which my life was forever changed – not just once, but twice.  This is the month in which my mom (2008) and my sister (2011) both passed away.  And then, there is Mother’s Day.  This time of year is a harsh reminder to me. 

Leanne {my sister}, Mom and Me 2004

Okay, so I’m not really canceling Mother’s Day.  Although it has crossed my mind, and the way I secluded myself until this last year, it almost felt like it was canceled.  It’s a feeling you can’t really explain to someone who still has their mom.  It’s a feeling that can’t be put into words most of the time.  Emptiness. Numbness. Loneliness. Grief-stricken all over again.

Mother’s Day with Mom
Growing up, Mother’s Day was huge in our home!  A couple of weeks before Mother’s Day, my dad would ask us what we wanted to get our mom. My brother and sister were often the ones to take us to the mall to shop for her. 

I remember browsing the newspaper as a youngster, watching for the advertisement in which you could respond with a story of “Why My Mom is the Best Mom.” I submitted a little paragraph every year about my mom because hands-down, she really was the best of the best!

We would shower our mom with so much extra love on Mother’s Day. It started with breakfast in bed. Gifts. A day of relaxing for her.  Dinner on the BBQ. And, you can’t forget the cake!

My beautiful mother in the summer of ’79, pregnant with yours truly.

As I got older, and would eventually marry and move out of my parent’s home, the spoiling on Mother’s Day wouldn’t change drastically. I might not have participated in making her breakfast in bed, but the rest of the day certainly went off without a hitch.

My Last Mother’s Day with Mom
Sunday, May 11, 2008. I will forever remember this Mother’s Day.  I had the hardest time buying a Mother’s Day card this year, sobbing, sniffling and snorting the whole row of cards through as I read each one. We gathered around my mom, sitting in bed with her, as she opened her gifts. I picked out the prettiest pink pajama’s for her I could find and lavender diffuser sticks.  This would be the last Mother’s Day I would have with my mom.

Mother’s Day in the Dark
The next few years, when Mother’s Day rolled around, I pretty much spent it in the dark. I wouldn’t acknowledge the day -no showering or getting dressed. I was lucky if I rolled out of bed and to the couch. I steered clear of social media knowing it would be filled with love for other mothers. It took all I had to send my dad a text message {I know!} that said, “I love you” – just so he knew I was thinking about him. I couldn’t bring myself to actually call and talk to him, though.

Mother’s Day Turning Light
The “dark” Mother’s Days ended when I started dating my husband. He had talked to his grandpa and made arrangements to take me to the family cabin.  It was in 2012, that Mother’s Day changed for me. I remember sitting quietly on the lake with this handsome guy at the bow of the boat and beautiful scenery all around me. There was peace in that moment. This would be a short-lived tradition, one that we were only given two years to enjoy. However short-lived, I am grateful every day to my husband and his grandpa for allowing me to have those two years!

Paradise (a front porch view from my husband’s family cabin) when I didn’t think I could make it through another Mother’s Day.

The love between a mother and her child(ren) is forever. That love doesn’t go away because a life has ended. My mom lives on in me. I am still my mother’s daughter, she will always be my biggest fan and have a front row seat to my life. She is always over my shoulder and while I would rather have her here with me now, I was lucky to have the world’s greatest mom as long as I did!

Mother’s Day as a Mom
Beyond elated to celebrate my very first Mother’s Day, we kept it a low-key day, keeping much to our “normal” day-to-day schedule. It was just mommy, daddy, and baby. My husband and daughter adorned me with flowers, cards, gifts and love. I snuck away for a few minutes to be alone. I needed some time to reflect on this day.  And to cry. What I wouldn’t do to be able to celebrate this day with my own mom. 

My first Mother’s Day – 2015

Last year, I opened my doors a little more. I invited my dad and sister over on Mother’s Day to celebrate with us. The weather was perfect for a BBQ and playing outside. Everyone was together and it felt good. They don’t know it yet, so dad and Kristina, if you are reading this, be prepared for another Mother’s Day BBQ with us!

Call Your Mom
Hug your mom. Call her every day. Visit with her as often as you can. Say “I love you” and “thank you” – OFTEN. Listen to her tell you about her childhood and your childhood. Keep making those memories with her. I would do anything to be able to share more days like this with my mom. I miss her every single day. My love for her will not change and I will make sure her memory lives on. I will cherish every day and every Mother’s Day with my child. I will love her unconditionally because that is how my mom loved us.  Everything I am, I am because of my mom and I couldn’t be more proud. I only hope she is as proud.

Happy Mother’s Day in heaven, Mama! I love you!

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