I took my kids to the park today and there was an older couple there playing with their two year-old grandson. We got to talking and they told me they were visiting their daughter who just had a baby. It got me thinking about my own mom, who passed away from Metastatic Breast Cancer two years ago this May. By the time I got the call to come and visit her, it was too late. The cancer had spread all throughout her body and she was placed on life support to help keep her comfortable until we could all say our goodbyes. I can picture the hallways of the hospital and I can still smell the waiting room. Hospitals always have distinct smells.
I remember sitting by her bed in the ICU looking at the view of the hospital courtyard from her window. Her favorite flowers were orchids and she had several beautiful bouquets of them sitting in her room. She looked so fragile hooked up to all those machines. We made the decision as a family to remove her from life support; that was what she wanted. I will forever be grateful that I got to hold her hand and tell her I loved her one last time before she passed away.
Seeing this older couple play with their grandson brought back a flood of memories. That morning at the park, I wanted to tell the older couple to cherish each moment with their grandchildren. I wanted to tell them that I hope their daughter appreciates that she still has her parents around to come visit. I wanted to tell them that as a mom, I long for my own mom most days than not and that nothing will fill the whole in my heart that losing her has left behind. I wanted to shout out that every time I see a picture of my friends’ babies with their grandparents on Facebook or Instagram, it makes the pain of losing my mom resurface and I have to unplug from social media and allow myself a good cry. Of course, you can’t say these things to perfect strangers, so instead we made small talk about the weather and how they picked the perfect time to come visit from the mid-West.
Later on that day, I dug out some old photos of my mom. She was beautiful. I have many wonderful memories with her that bring me so much joy when I think about them. However, I can’t help but feel sadness knowing that my children (who are 3 and 11 months old) will never know their grandmother. So, I would like to say this to the moms out there who still have their moms around: CELEBRATE HER.
Being that Mother’s Day is this month, don’t wait for it to show your own mom how much you appreciate her. I wish I would have celebrated my mom more often. I wish I would have included her more in my life, even if that meant picking up the phone more often and calling just to tell her I loved her. Go have a girls day, get a mani/pedi with her, and take her to lunch. I can remember a couple of times when my sister, my mom, and I went to get our nails done together and we just talked and laughed. There was so much laughter. Go have moments like that. Don’t take it personal when she corrects your parenting style and reminds you that she raised you just fine. Let it roll of your back. She does so in love. Instead, thank her for raising the woman you have become. Cherish your own babies as she cherished you and remind them each and every day how much you love them. Nothing could make a mother more proud than seeing her own daughter nurture and mother her babies.
Invite your mom into your life. When I say this, I mean talk to her. Get to know her. Ask her questions. As we grow up and become mothers ourselves, we often times realize that maybe our moms aren’t who we perceived them to be as kids. Get to know who she truly is as an adult.
Our time on this Earth is limited, mamas, we can’t change that. But what we can change is how we show our own moms just how much we love and appreciate them. I wasn’t able to do that as much as I would have liked to. The only thing that comforts me now is reminding myself that my mom can see the mother I have become. She is watching over my children and will see them grow up and she knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that I love them and her with all of my heart, even if she isn’t with us physically.
So go out, mamas, and celebrate your mom. Don’t take a moment with her for granted and make sure she knows just how much you love and value her.