Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12. Many of us will be remembering our mothers who have passed away.
My mother died when I was 24. After her death I ignored Mother’s Day as long as I could. My head-in-the-sand tactic was forced to a screeching halt 6 years later, the Mother’s Day I was 7 months pregnant with my own daughter.
Although I’m sure my memory has altered reality, it seemed to me the only thing my friends and family talked about was how NEXT Mother’s Day would be my day – that I’d be the person who would be “celebrated”. I remember feeling bitter and irritated. All I could think of is how my mother wouldn’t be with me to enjoy her longed-for granddaughter. I recall spending most of that Mother’s Day hiding in bed.
More than 20 years ago, Hope Edelman published “Motherless Daughters”, an examination of how the loss of their mother effects a daughter’s life regardless of daughter’s age at the time of their loss. I bought it and read it within a week of publication. I found the book to be a confirmation that I wasn’t nuts and certainly not alone in how my mother’s early death impacted my life both in negative but ultimately positive ways.
According to Amazon, the book is still considered to be a source of comfort and understanding to women whose mothers have died.
Here is the link to Hope Edelman’s 2019 Mother’s Day blog, asking those of us who are motherless daughters to think about our mothers differently this year and find a way to celebrate the special bond we had and the legacy our mothers left us.
The memory I’ll focus on today is how I was amazed by my experience at a high school class reunion several years ago when many women from my graduating class sought me out to talk to me about my mother.
They talked about how my mother taught them to crochet, to knit, to embroidery, to sew. How she was so much fun as a Camp Fire Girl leader. How she took in and sheltered abused classmates in our home. How she let my house be the go-to place where my friends were always welcomed for lunch, dinner, sleepovers. How she let us set up a summer-long, ongoing Monopoly game on her dining room table. How when we were teenagers, she sat and talked to us like adults and encouraged our dreams and plans but ever-so-tactfully pushed us back on track if we were going in the wrong direction.
If you’re a motherless daughter, and far enough away from the crushing grief of loss to think about Mother’s Day differently, I encourage you read Ms. Edelman’s blog and celebrate your mother’s uniqueness and the gifts she’s given you.