For many years Mother’s Day was a sad day, or one I avoided thinking about. Recent years, though, my perspective has changed. I don’t have a “Mother” and I haven’t for a long time, but something happened when I lost my mother that I’m not sure I really saw at the time. Looking back it seems so clear. The perspective of time I suppose…
When I lost my Mom there were lots of different women in lots of different ways that stepped in and helped me. It didn’t matter if it was a specific problem I was having, a task that needed to be done, or just advice from someone who had been there before me, I was still getting “mothering” when I needed it. I feel like I still am. I might be a “grown up” but I’m not done growing and I don’t think I’ll ever be.
(We are all growing and changing as we move through life, or at least I believe we should be. I can’t imagine getting to a point where I say to myself “okay, that’s it, I’m done. I know everything I need to know in life.” Like there is an arbitrary finish line we reach while we are still alive. Huge milestones along the way, sure, but never finished. And how boring a life would that be, a life with no new experiences in it? But now I’m getting off on a tangent…)
There were countless women who helped with tasks like arranging a funeral and gathering afterwards, to those who listened to me and helped me know that I wasn’t alone. In the days, weeks, and months that followed my Mom’s passing I started to learn that family is connected by love, not blood. Many of the women I am talking about are still in my life today. The ones who aren’t, for whatever reason, will always hold a special place in my heart for the time they did share with me. And on this Mother’s day I will think about my Mother and how much I miss her, but I will also be thinking about all of the amazing, nurturing, giving women who picked up in teaching me about life where my Mom left off. (Not to exclude the men in my life, they were there for me too but we’ll wait until Father’s Day to talk about them.)
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! Even if you can’t hug the person who gave birth to you, today can be a celebration of family, love, growing, gratitude, and everything our mothers (or others) taught us.