It sneaks up on me every single year.
Yesterday, I was making the most of my alone time while David was at work. I decided to completely empty the littler boxes out, wipe them down, and refill them with all new litter. I cut on a movie to keep me company while I did this, and I ended up watching (mostly listening) to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I haven’t watched it all the way through in probably years. Anyway, the parade scene is my favorite part, and in the middle of it I smiled and thought, “I wonder if Mom likes this movie.”
That’s what got me.
My mom has been gone for ten years, and I still sometimes forget that she isn’t here.
I have long since made my peace with her death, and made peace with myself and my life. I don’t spend hours crying over it anymore, and the fact that she is not here has become the norm.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still catch me off guard, though.
And when it does, it hurts.
The trouble with losing your mother so young is that you don’t have enough time to learn all the things other people know about their mothers. If I ask David or his sister, Maddie, about any particular movie or band, they can almost always tell me whether or not their mother likes it. In the fourteen years I had my mother, I didn’t have enough time to learn enough about her to last me the rest of my life.
I don’t cry for my mother very often anymore, but I crave the stories and information that I should know about her.
Today is Mother’s Day, and I have so many women who love me and take care of me. I sometimes feel like Lily at the end of The Secret Life of Bees, when she turns around and notices all the women standing behind her on the porch. I have my stepmother, Ashley, who has never once referred to me as her stepdaughter, but always her daughter. I have my three wonderful grandmothers, who are always there for me. I have my amazing mother-in-law, Jeri, who always responds to the hare-brained, off-the-wall texts I send her and never fails to make me laugh. I have David’s aunts, who love me and never fail to encourage me and make me feel part of the family. I have my own aunts, who can tell me the stories about when I was a little girl that my mother no longer can. There are an abundance of other women in my life who have served as a mother figure to me at one time or another. I have been overwhelmingly blessed in my short life.
I love you, Mommy. Happy Mother’s Day.