This will be my first year without my mom on Mother’s Day. Last November, I lost my mom to cancer. It is something that follows me day after day. It has not made me stronger, but it’s made me really grateful for even having had such a wonderful woman as my mother.
My mom wasn’t my hero. She wasn’t perfect. She wasn’t always right. I can accept that, and still love her more than anything else. My mom was my best friend. She was the person I went to for everything. I went to her when I was excited about a boy, when I was afraid, when I had doubts, when I was on the verge of tears, when I wanted to gush over my new favorite tv show/movie/book, when I had something exciting to share. My mom was always there, ready to listen and give me a warm smile. I never told her how much I loved that smile.
This year, I will spend Mother’s Day at the cemetery. I will bring her an Elvis Presley figurine, and some bright red flowers, and I will hold back my tears. I never liked crying in front of her, and now I don’t like crying in front of her grave.
Growing up, I had my mom on a pedestal. She was this impossible being I could never keep close to me because life kept distancing her from me. We didn’t always live together, mostly when I was little. My mom and I fought and disagreed on many things. I always held a terrible sadness in me when it came to my mom. I never understood why it wouldn’t go away, even though she was there right in front of me. Maybe part of me knew I’d only get 22 years with her. Maybe I was trying to immortalize her all my life.
I think there’s something incredibly special about a mom. I think, when it’s right, a bond between a mom/child can be one of the strongest, most beautiful things in the world. I write about that in my fiction stories all the time. Part of me wants to recreate my relationship with my mom, but it’s been impossible so far. Words don’t always work in my favor.
Now, I feel fortunate to have so many great memories with my mom. Thinking of her doesn’t make me sad, it makes me happy. It’s as though part of me is absolutely sure I will see her again. I don’t know what I believe will happen to my soul once I die, but I know that I’m no longer afraid. I feel prepared to face anything head on because my mother raised me right. She taught me that hard work pays off. She taught me to be brave and take chances. She taught me to love myself. And I do. I really do.
The only thought that keeps me awake sometimes is that, when I do have a kid of my own, I won’t have my mom by my side. I will not be able to share with her the experience of having my first kid. It’s sort of disturbing to think that, to future generations, my mom will be nothing but a story, a memory, nothing solid or real or warm. I don’t know how to cope with that, but that’s life, I guess. I’ll have to learn someday.
I want to celebrate Mother’s Day. I want it to be a good day. I want to remember my mom, in her best days, with the best smiles, the best laughs, the best jokes, and the best hugs.