Me, Mom, & Missy
I always worried about what to give her. So I usually sent her a book.
She said I was really great at picking out cards, the Hallmark kind. I guess I had a knack for finding sentiments expressed by other people to match my own. But over the years, it got harder.
Life has a way of taking the stuff we feel like is solid and orderly and making a big, fat confusing mess of it all. Relationships that you thought were just fine, even really good, have a way of morphing a bit as the seasons change. That’s what mine and Mom’s relationship was like . . good, confusing, messy.
In the ten years before she passed, there wasn’t a card that even began to have enough or the right words to sum up my sentiments. I won’t go into the details. I’m still figuring them out myself. But in a way it’s easier now, because they’re somewhat static.
I read once that when someone dies you are given the gift of their entire life. Your relationship is no longer confined to what’s right in front of you and a few select memories. Instead, you have their whole life, and the present and the past begin to level out until they have equal ground. Childhood memories merge with those of adulthood into one big box of memories, both good and bad.
And for me, the more recent hurts and conflicts, the mess, it seems to have a way of blending into the background of happy memories as they've begun to resurrect.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Exactly eight months after her death on September 10, it will be the first one I’ll ever live without my mom. This year I’m not worrying about what to give her, but I wish I was.
Instead, I’m reminiscing and loving my mom in every memory of every season. I will share that detail. Love marked our relationship. That’s what kept us in it even when it got hard.
And that seems to be sentiment enough.
I made her a mom.
She loved our family so well.
Mom left us all a beautiful bouquet of memories.
My friend Laura Brown wrote a book about moms and memories. Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories is designed to help you recall memories of your mom, record them and then give her your "bouquet." But if your mom has passed or you're in one of those messy seasons right now, maybe you'd enjoy using it like I have and filling it out on your own. For you. Sometimes just a sweet sniff of even a messy bouquet can do a world of good for a daughter's soul.