It’s that time of year again.  No, I don’t mean Springtime or daylight savings time. It’s Mother’s Day.

For those of us who have lost their mom or never knew their mom, it can be a bittersweet day on Mother’s day without her.  We may all take comfort in the memories of our mother’s embrace, her laugh, her cooking or that special look she gave you when you did something extraordinary or something wrong.  The smiles, the looks, the sayings my Mom said are embedded in my  memories for a lifetime but it just isn’t the same without her.

On Holidays, we celebrate our memories by making mom’s special recipes.   The decorations and the fine China she used always made their annual appearance in my home and my sisters’ homes.

The younger children in our family know only what we tell them about their grandmother and great grandmother.  It is sad that they will never experience the joy and knowledge we received from my mother and grandmother.  They share the memories of stories and photographs of years gone by.  They love hearing the stories of “ in our day” or “ how it was.”

The Mother’s Day of years past always included dressing up, going to church and then out to breakfast or dinner.  It was always a day to celebrate “mom” and her labor of love each year.  It was always a day we saw our mom beam with pride.

We now celebrate Holidays at the family table saying things like “Remember when Mom and Grandma cooked the 30lb. turkey?” Or we reminisce about the way our mother set the table or decorated the Christmas tree.  The heavy heart I feel this time of year starts on May 1st and follows me throughout the month of May.

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It may feel different to some who have accepted that life goes on and we have to face the fact that death is indeed a part of life. A few years ago, I lost my two sisters just four months apart.  The loss of my mother and my sisters is something that is hard to accept. Both died leaving children and a bittersweet memory of Mother’s Day past. Their absence is felt  but their presence is felt in everything we do.  For every memory we have made over the years with mom and my sisters, a new one will be made with a new generation of nieces and nephews. The family tree continues to grow and with it new memories and traditions are made.

Mother’s Day can be an emotional rollercoaster for some but a beautiful celebration for others.  Life is like that.

And for those of us, who do not have children, Mother’s Day is a ghostly reminder of what could have been.  So many of us who are childless, enjoy being aunties and caretakers to other children but that reminder is there that we are not mommies. We must take the irreplaceable place of trying to be an auntie, mom and surrogate. It is not an easy task but it is a most rewarding and needed one.  We find that we were made to be there for those who need us, whether it be our family members or others.  We find that we are chosen to take different paths in life that may not include motherhood but come pretty darn close.

Mother’s Day is a day to look back at our childhoods and thank God for the precious gift of having a mother who was there for us. I look back with a smile and a memory of mom and my sisters that will never fade.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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