Sure, I knew that Mother’s Day was right around the corner. I mean, I’m a mom. Of course I knew. Motherhood is one of my greatest joys, and I think it’s really swell to have a day just about me. But the thing is, it’s not. It’s not just about me.
So when I started seeing the barrage of photos come across my Facebook newsfeed the heavy weight of Mother’s Day hit me. Like a lead weight it pulled at me, dragging me down to places I typically try to forget about.
Photo after photo of beautiful mothers being celebrated showed up on my social media, and I honestly loved seeing them. But honestly, I also didn’t.
When I saw the picture of you and your mom, and your child too, I almost lost it. That’s the thing about grief. It’s a tricky animal. You can be chugging along doing just fine and dandy when all of the sudden you are struck by sadness, and it comes up so stealthly unaware that it forces the emotion right out of you like an erupting volcano. Tears start pouring down your face, and you whisper to the non-responding sky above, “I miss you, Momma.”
I don’t want you to feel guilty for my grief. Not at all. My melancholy sadness is what it is, and it’s also accompanied by the peace of the hereafter, so most days I’m okay. I pitter-pat through an abundantly blessed life, and when I think of my mom who is gone, I smile at the memories that stir inside my heart. So don’t feel sorry for me, the motherless woman. I am simply a girl who was loved by an amazing momma; she just had to leave for Heaven a little earlier than we all bargained for.
But there is one thing I would want to impart to you. As a woman who has lost her mother without getting to say goodbye, and as a mom whose own children never met their wonderful grandmother, I would say this. Make the most of this Mother’s Day.
Don’t just grab a last minute card that looks okay. Find the perfect one that spells out how special she is. And if it doesn’t say it enough, then add your own sentiment.
Take the time. Time is a thing we are always lacking in this hurried life, but I can tell you this. When she’s gone, she’s gone, and you’ll never get that time back. So make the most of it. Find the time to spend with your mom. One day time with her will only exist in the memories of your heart.
Cherish her as your friend. Recognize the help she provides. See the amazing role model she is to your children. Even if she doesn’t do things like you do, realize that she’s present. She’s present and making an impact on your life and that of your children. I only wish my mom had met my daughters.
When you hug your mom goodbye after church, or at the end of your Mother’s Day festivities, I want you to linger. Stay a while in her arms. Smell her perfume, soak up her laughter, and hold her tight. You just never know when that last hug will be. I still remember mine, and I beat myself up a bit for making it so perfunctory and lack luster. Hindsight.
Hindsight is 20/20, but don’t let it be the only way you see your mom clearly. See her now. Whatever her quirks, whatever your differences, it matters not. See past that into her heart for you, straight through to her sacrifices, kindness, and undying love. See it now while you can still say thank you in person, rather than whispering it later in blurry-eyed, tearful prayers.
When I see the pictures of you with your mom, the one who’s still here on this earth with you, I’m happy. I’m happy for you when I see how blessed you are to have her presence in your life, and my prayer for you this Mother’s Day would be that you see it also.
This article originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.