My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom
This is the first year I haven't had to think about what to buy my mom for Mother's Day.
She passed away from lung cancer just under two months ago at the age of 68, which by today's standards feels so young.
I figured we had many Mother's Days in our future to celebrate together.
And so I've avoided thinking about Mother's Day for the most part. I haven't lingered past store displays of cute blouses wondering which one my mom would like best. I have been avoiding Facebook memories as the day approaches.
But the other day I did click in to the memories section on Facebook and found a story I told about my mom.
It was one of those images of a freshly vacuumed carpet, with an accompanying story about how we moms shouldn't worry so much about the messy house and live in the moment instead.
I shared the story because that day my mom had come home from working at a manufacturing plant to watch my kids so I could catch up on housework.
She had worked in a manufacturing plant -- hard, physical work for a woman in her 60s -- and started work at 4 a.m. most days. Here she was, likely far more exhausted than me, doing the exhausting work of caring for my kids.
I apologized for needing her help so much, and thanked her for (once again) giving up her time -- certain that there were a thousand other things she'd rather been doing after finishing a long shift at the plant.
She stopped me and said, "One day they won't ask for me. One day they'll be busy with their own friends and activities and won't want to hang out with their nanny."
My mom wasn't wrong about much, but she was wrong about this one. They never stopped asking for her.
And every time I worried I relied on her so much? She was right about that. I didn't have to worry. Looking back, I fully understand every favor I thought she was doing me, was a gift I was giving her.