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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Joy and Sadness, Celebration and Grief

Can these words actually go together?  When it comes to feelings about Mother's Day, for me, yes they do.  I've never really written about this in any extent, whether on my blog or elsewhere so it may be all over the place, but I wanted to touch on it today for anyone else who may be feeling the same thing.

Mother's Day is today- Sunday, May 8th.  It's a day for celebrating your mom and to be celebrated if you're a mom yourself.  Yet if your mom is no longer with you in this world, it's only half the celebration it should be.
My Mom, Sally 11.8.53- 3.18.95
My mom passed away when I was 16 years old- in a car accident... she died on impact.  She left behind a husband and nine children.  It was a rough time for me- at 16 you're still trying to figure yourself out, struggling with peer pressure and social cliques in school, the stress of grades and sports.  You're not a child anymore but far from an adult, even though technically it's only two years away.

Losing a parent, while tough at any age, just wasn't fair to have one taken from me while I was still a teenager.  She never got to see me graduate high school, get married, enlist in the military, have my 1st baby, buy our 1st house.  She wasn't there through my failures either, to give advice, or help me back up after I fell.  My girls will never know their Grandmother- a woman who would've loved them beyond measure.

I miss my Mom... more than these words can truly convey.  And while I enjoy the Mother's Day I celebrate with my own daughters, and am thankful the girls now have someone special in their lives to take the role of Grandma, it's still hard when you don't have that one person in your life who you think will always be there for you.  The person who helped create you and brought you into the world... the first person on Earth to love you, and love you unconditionally!

I read a post the other day, and then watched a video related to that post, that really made an impact on me and tied together several different aspects of my life.  It was a post on May is Melanoma Awareness Month, about losing a loved one, and the video was titled 'Dear 16 year old Me'- offering advice to yourself as a teen.
Of course, the part about losing a loved one pertains to me, and my 16 year old self, well I'll get to that in a minute.  But also the Melanoma Awareness- I've had a few weird things going on with my health lately that have made me suspicious and concerned.  I already have a doctor appointment scheduled and will be going in a couple weeks (hopefully to find out it's nothing), but to read the story and watch the video made me realize how important it was.  That you are the best person to know what's going on with your body... pay attention to it... and don't put off seeing a doctor if need be!

So back to that piece of advice,  if I could tell my 16 year old self one thing (before that fateful day of losing my mother), it would be to always tell your mom (and dad) you love them and give them a hug each and every time one of you goes out the door (even if you're having a typical teenage mood swing) ... because you aren't guaranteed tomorrow, and you never know if you'll see them again.

It sounds so simple and at certain times we all vow to do it.  We read someone else's story of loss and we say  "I will always do this", but after a short period of time has gone by... we don't.  We forget how important it really is and we take one another for granted.  We think "I'll see so and so tomorrow, I'll tell them the next time I see them." or "I don't need to say it out loud, they already know how I feel."  It's always when it's too late that we realize how truly important it was.

But alas, you can't change history.  I can't travel back in time and even if I could, would I really listen to myself?  I was a typical stubborn 16 year old and didn't like anyone telling me what to do.  It would be great if we were all perfect and could always remember to do the right thing, but we're human and we will always mess up.  No matter how hard we try or no matter how many people tell us, we'll make mistakes.  There are life lessons we all must learn...

I hope this wasn't too scatterbrained, and I hope if your Mother is still with you that you show her how much you care about and love her this Mother's Day... if you're like me- I hope you have memories to cherish.  And if you're a Mother yourself- enjoy your children no matter which stage of life they're in.
I love you Mom!


Busy Tennessee Mom said...

I liked your post very much. My mom has been passed on now for ten years and since her death Mother's Day has always had a piece missing. I love spending the day with my own children. I also envy my friendse around me who are out somewhere and look at the caller id and it says Mom. So many times I have been with a friend who said I will call her later. I speak up to say that I would give anything to be able to take a call from my Mom. So if your Mom is here on Earth treasure her because, you never know how much you will miss her until she is gone. God Bless

Sarah, Arik and Avas Mommy, said...

Your mom was beautiful, Susan, and it is so sad that you had to lose her at such a young age. Reading your words, and those of Busy Tennessee Mom, definitely put things into perspective. So often, my mom and I will butt heads and frustrate each other... but at the same time, I am still very fortunate that she is still here. We weren't going to do much for Mother's Day this year, but I'm thinking maybe that should change. The kids had made planters at the Home Depot workshop yesterday, so I think that we are going to go and buy us some flowers to take over to my mom. Happy Mother's Day, Susan!

Kathy said...

I needed to read this today! Thank you for your beautiful post. I related to the last comment. It is so easy to butt heads with my mother and forget that I never know what each minute will bring and which minute will be our last. I hope you have a wonderful mothers day with your own girls. Thank you!

blueviolet said...

I relate to this so much, because I lost my dad, and I still have that why didn't I tell him I loved him one more time thing...I don't know if I'll ever get over that.

I'm so sorry you lost your mom at such a tender age. I can't even imagine.

I hope everything turns out ok with your medical situation. Please keep us posted.

Happy Mother's Day, sweet friend!

Sarah said...

What a beautiful post & bittersweet tribute to your mother! Thank you for sharing your heart!

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