Today is Mother’s Day here in Canada, an official on-the-calendar kind of holiday.
A lot of lovely women, young and old, will receive flowers, candy, gifts, phone calls, or maybe they’ll be taken out for dinner.
Of course, we don’t need a reminder to love our mothers but, from what I can see, today’s the day to let her know.
How can I do that?
You’d think after 49 years I would have figured that out, but the empty ache of loss still lingers.
My mother died when I was an eleven-year-old and, unfortunately, no one gave me an instruction book on how to cope with her loss.
However, I did figure out how to do that fairly quickly.
In fact, I can remember the exact moment.
When I first learned she had died I was quiet – very quiet. More than likely I was in shock. The funeral, being my first, was an impactful experience, to say the least.
However, it wasn’t until we were driving away from the cemetery, in the biggest car I had ever been in, that I felt a gut-wrenching tear in my heart.
It was frightening. My tiny little chest felt crushed by its heaviness.
Then, all of sudden, I had a thought come into my mind.
It was a vivid memory of our morning and goodnight routine where she would say to me that she “loved me with all of her heart and soul”.
At that very moment a light went off, I got it… now, I would love her through her soul. The soul never dies. It’s invisible but it is there. I felt calmer, comforted, and I knew that I would be okay.
Thinking about that now – all these many years later, I can see that was quite an insight for a little girl.
I’m fortunate that my inner resiliency surfaced – it was as if my mother had prepared me.
That thought, that vivid memory, was a turning point, and the start of me taking care of me.
Loss of a loved one, in this case, a mother, is hard at any age.
The ache stays with you like an invisible incision. It heals and we do our best to find our way – but it is always there.
My photos of my mother are unfortunately few and far between, so sharing my mother with the world, in any form, is challenging.
And yet, every morning in the mirror I see her eyes in mine. They are, after all, the windows to the soul.
Happy Mother’s Day!