For someone who’s been without her mother for quite a long time (my mum died in 1991), I tend to think about her rather a lot.
Maybe it’s the little photo of her perched on my bedside table that I see every morning and evening. Maybe it’s the increasing resemblance to her face I spy in the mirror every day. Maybe it’s the way I still automatically scream out, “Maaa!!” whenever a stray bee or spider surprises me with its presence. Whatever the reason, nary a day goes by when I don’t think about my mom.
As I’ve observed my friends-who-are-mothers raising their children, I’ve come to appreciate more and more what my mother offered in the time we were together.
For the first few years after she died, I refused to acknowledge Mother’s Day. I’d deliberately make other plans that would divert my attention, such as going to a movie, attending a workout class (ah, the days of attending workout classes. . . !), or cleaning out the kitchen cupboards (ah, the days of cleaning out. . . anything).
More recently, though, I’ve learned to embrace the day wholeheartedly. After all, I’ve realized, anyone can celebrate mothers today, whether it be their own biological moms or moms of the heart.
I may not have children, but I have certainly felt the yanking of the maternal heartstrings any time one of my beloved Girls has been sick or injured. I’ve lived through vicarious motherhood, experiencing the traumas and frustrations of raising toddlers to youngsters to teens to young adults alongside my best friends who have children. And I’ve felt something akin to the love of a daughter, directed at dear relatives and friends who’ve shown me the affection and care much like that my own mom did way back when.
And so, for any of you who are mothers today, who have or had mothers, or who are close to a mother–here’s wishing you a very happy, loving, and joyful day. And don’t forget to let that mom know just how much she means to you, while she’s still around to hear it.