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May 5, 2011

Mother's Day is Bittersweet

My mom died 12 years ago, when I was 22. Her death followed an illness of several years. While it wasn’t altogether unexpected, losing my mom was still the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with.

Four or five years ago, if you’d asked me if things had gotten easier with the passage of time, I would have said yes. Of course the first few days and weeks were excruciating, and the first year was very difficult...but over time, although I always missed her terribly, my heart began to heal.

When our girls were born, of course I experienced a plethora of emotions, as any new mom surely does. What I didn’t know to expect, though, was how my heart would almost physically ache at times for my own mother.

I hurt for three generations of women…

…my mom, who will never hold her grandchildren, or see her daughter as she once was herself…

…my girls, who will never know their grandmother, will never hear her laugh or sit in her lap and hear stories about their own mom…

…and for me.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could share their silly anecdotes with her, knowing they would be the light of her life…or that I don’t wish I could ask her advice, or know what I did at their age.

And so, for that reason, Mother’s Day is bittersweet.

It’s definitely more sweet than bitter…as I have my precious babies to hold, and through whom I can occasionally glimpse my own mom…but what I wouldn’t give to be able to share it with her here on earth.

***

I write this post not to garner sympathy, but as what I hope will be a tiny reminder to cherish those important in our lives.

And, just as important, I write this as a reminder to take care of ourselves. For the sake of our own sons and daughters, we must put ourselves on the priority list.

I’m eating (mostly) right and exercising (mostly) regularly, and I’m taking time to schedule annual doctor visits…

…as I hope that when my girls are my age, when they will likely have families of their own, that Mother’s Day will be nothing but sweet for them.

18 comments:

Andrea said...

Sweet Mandy, I am truly sorry! I can not imagine my life without my mom! I know you just said you didn't want sympathy, but my heart aches for you. I can't not offer this..... You will be in my thoughts this Sunday! I will hug and appreciate my mom a little more that day (& everyday).

I will take your advise too!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Oh Mandy, big hugs to you.

What a beautiful tribute.

I would love to hear more about your relationship with your mom if you're up to it.

Julia said...

This is lovely, friend.

Mandy said...

**Hugs**

It's always tough, but at least the girls (and you) have that wonderful aunt!

Liz said...

What a great post Mandy.
Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
As my parents get older I cherish each moment with them.
Thanks for the reminder to take care of ourselves too- that's something I need to do a better job of.
Happy Mother's Day to you my friend!

Sarah said...

What a touching post. Thank you for your words of wisdom at the end.

Deanna said...

Oh, Mandy! I knew you had lost your mom, but I wasn't sure how close you had been. I am sure Mother's Day is a hard time for the grieving.

Thanks for the reminder to cherish what we have!

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

Tears are streaming down my face. What a beautiful tribute and reminder to ALL OF US that we must cherish life... always. I've always felt my mom was made of gold. She just "makes stuff happen". I am 100% that is how your girls do and will feel about you. You are such an amazing mom and are giving them the most awesome foundation for life. I hope that mother's day is full of hugs and giggles and all the things 2 year olds can bring. And, I have no doubt that your mom is looking down and BEAMING with pride about what an awesome mom her little girl has become.

championm2000 said...

I have started to type several comments, and then erased each of them. None of them seemed to express my response to your post. Perhaps the closest is simply, "Thank you. You touched my heart."

Olusola said...

Very poignant and well-written. I lost my mother when I was 5, so your post really hit home for me. Bitter-sweet is the word

Beth said...

Mandy, that is lovely. Made me cry, but lovely.
I do not want my daughters sharing these thoughts in 30 yrs, so you're right. We need to do everything in our power to be here for our children and grandchildren.
Happy mother's day to a beautiful mother.

Barbara Manatee said...

oh Mandy...I didn't know your mother passed away. I know Mother's Day was really hard on my Mom last year after losing my brother. I know this year won't be easy still but hopefully time will help her heart heal.

I hope you have a blessed Mother's Day with your two sweet girls!

Nicole said...

Mandy, how beautifully worded your post is! It makes me want to steal it for my own blog because I could never voice the same thoughts so eloquently, but my heart has the same aches for my mother and my own girls.

However, you are right when you say that your girls would be the light of your mother's life. They would be!! I can picture her bouncing them on her knee and telling them stories exactly as you described. She was one fantastic lady and would have made an excellent Grandma.

Oh, how much I miss our childhood sometimes and the simpler days gone by!

Much love to you, my friend,
Nicole

Holly Ann said...

Oh, Mandy. I am so sorry. This is a beautifully written post and I thank you for the reminder to take care of ourselves as well as our loved ones. It's very important. My mother lost her father at the age of 23 and I know she has gone through all of these exact same emotions.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

wow...you're right...you're doing what you gotta do to be there when they're older. love this post...hate that you had to go through that...check that, are still going through that.

reanbean said...

It's hard for me too and for all the same reasons. Still, I know that I can only move forward and do the best that I can to take care of myself so that I can be here to enjoy my kids and one day their own families for many years to come. I'm still working on how to talk to my kids about my mom- the grandmother who would have loved them to pieces, but who they will never meet. Tiny asks questions sometimes, but mostly, it's not something they really think about. I just want to be prepared when the time comes. I miss her so much.

Christina said...

Yea, it's like that for me, but for totally different reasons. I still, even after how bad she hurt me, get hope that she might call or email. Not that I want her to, but at the same time I can't believe it. I look at mine, and wonder how it could be so easy for her to walk away from me and my brother. So I celebrate being a Mother, not having one.
We are both without one, but for very different reasons. I'm so sorry you lost your Momma. Hugs my friend. xoxo

The 'Ssippi Scoop said...

Mandy, I've often looked at this blog and wondered what your Mom would think about your sweet babies. I'm sure she would love them no less than she loved you, and all the rest of us, too!

I have wanted to say more than one time that either Baby A or Baby B, not sure which one, always leaves me with a picture of your mom in my head. She looks like her to me!

Your mom would be so proud at the Mom you have become. I mean, I can hardly believe it myself. haha! Only kidding.

You have a beautiful family and I'm sure she is smiling down you each day watching you become the woman that you are!

Love ya girl!!!