Since November 23rd of last year, I’ve been experiencing a lot of firsts. A week ago was the first Mother’s Day without my mom. To say the day was bittersweet is an understatement but that is the best adjective I can find. I left my church class early because I needed to walk laps around the building because it’s awkward to cry in the middle of a lovely lesson on productivity and spiritual momentum. And my girls made sure my nails were on point. I wore the outfit I wore to Mom’s funeral and some jewelry she gave me: a pendant necklace for my 36th birthday and a stacking ring with my kids’ birth stones for my 35th birthday. And Naomi made me breakfast, Corra made me lunch and Neil made me a perfect pavlova.
I’ve been missing mom a lot lately. Not just because of Mother’s Day but because things are shifting and changing for our family and I want to talk to her about it. I want a pep talk. I want to hear her laugh and mildly swear. I want to not remember that she’s dead and feel my stomach cave in. That happens a lot now. It used to be I’d feel it big and then it would subside and I’d be fine. Now it’s hanging out much closer to the surface and I’m feeling it more. Sigh. The point is…I survived and it was a beautiful day.
Neil and the kids got me flowers and Grandpa did a stealth delivery of even more roses. 87 years old and still a master of surprise. He texted Garyn to come get them and then drove off…I’ll keep his handwritten note forever. I mean, that handwriting! Epic. Even for a doctor. No, it was so sweet and I love that he was thinking of me. Neil also got me a new figurine for our mantle (see the cover picture above). The old one was a woman holding a baby…turns out I don’t have babies anymore. So I needed a more accurate depiction…I love it and it’s perfect.
The Saturday before, Corra helped me in the garden and both little girls helped me procure strawberries for my dessert of choice. A strawberry pavlova. We ended up on our own for Mother’s Day dinner because Grandma caught a cold…such a bummer. I have her present in my fridge and we will make up for lost time tomorrow.
I have my mom’s hands and my dad’s feet. Which is awesome because that means I got the best of both worlds. Turns out photographing hands is impossible. You’ll have to just trust me that my mom and I have beautiful hands.
It’s weird, but I see her everywhere. She was the one who told me about David Austin Roses. Now they cover the front of my porch and I wish I could give her some. She bought me the ring to celebrate the four of the five best reasons I have for being alive. There is art of her’s in my house and her high school Peanuts lunch box in my kitchen.
This is the day it all started for me. It’s also the day she received her promotion to Grandma. I see her everywhere and it’s more that just the physical stuff. My girls miss EGADS (Extraordinary Grandma Adventure Days) and I know Garyn wanted her to be at his first school play (he worked the spotlight). She had time to give me time and she was so good at praise and validation.
Corra asks me all the time if I think being a mom is a good job. I tell her it’s the best job. More and more I’m realizing how much of my love of motherhood is because I was raised by a woman who knew deep down in her guts that being a mom really is the best job, and the greatest gift a woman can be given.