Celebrating the Women We Call Mom

May 3, 2021

Mother’s Day. A day of celebrating the wonderful women in our lives we call “mom.” But for some of us this can feel like a dreaded day. There are many reasons this day can feel impossibly heavy. Maybe you lost your mother, maybe you lost your child or maybe you lost your hope of one day becoming a mother. I see you all and my heart understands each unique struggle you might be feeling on Mother’s Day.

One of the hardest things to deal with is the loss of a special person in your life. But when that loss is your mother, your child or a lost pregnancy, it is a stabbing pain. It’s a pain that is magnified on Mother’s Day when you are reminded at every turn, every commercial, every advertisement, that the whole world is celebrating.

A simple text from a jewelry store sent me into a suffocating fog. “Let me know if I can help you find something special for all the wonderful mother’s in your life.” There it was, the smack in the face, the reality that there are no more mothers in my life. It was a reminder I was not expecting. It was a reminder that we lost both my mother and my mother-in-law and now I am the only one left to celebrate.

I could allow this heavy fog of grief to take over my day. I could let the fog blind me so I can’t enjoy my family and their efforts to recognize me. I could fall prey to only focusing on the losses, and not figuring out how to clear the fog away. But what I choose to do instead is connect. You might be wondering...how do I connect? How do I “clear the fog”? Well, I have many ways I do this for myself and I encourage you to explore your own ways to “clear the fog.”

Instead of only remembering that she’s not here anymore, I choose to connect with the fact that I look so much like her, I act just like her, and I have so many of her mannerisms. I choose to remember all the things we did together, all the laughs we had. I choose to remember how every spring we would plant the flowers in the pots on my front porch together. I lean on a tradition I started last year to honor her. I plant seeds of Forget-Me-Not flowers. I spend the next few weeks “tending” to these seeds. I water them, not too much, and not too little. I place them on the window sill so they can bask in the sunlight. I smile when I pass by and see them in the corner of my eye, maybe I wipe a tear as well. As I watch these flowers push through the earth to grow and flourish, I think about how she helped to shape me, nurture me and make me the person I am today.

I choose to reset my mind, in order to honor my mom. I choose to celebrate her existence on this earth, for without it, I wouldn’t be here.

My life has forever been changed by the loss of my mother, but my life was also forever changed because she walked this earth: because she existed.

T. Bowers

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