It was 3 years ago today, May 13, 2010, that I lost my mom. It was 47 years ago, May 13, 1966 that she lost her mother, my grandmother. May 13th, Mother's Day, they always come together and I remember that Mother's Day was always bittersweet for my mom. I get it now, I wish I could tell her that.
In many ways it seems as if she has been gone forever and sometimes it seems as if those 3 months from a healthy, happy mom to losing her, just happened yesterday. I'm still using a bottle of her perfume and it hasn't been long enough that the bottle is empty yet. There are so many things I wish I could ask her and so much that I would love to tell her.
She lost her mother very suddenly when she was 36, with 2 little girls at home to raise. She never faltered. I never saw her cry although my dad said that she did often. She was the type of woman who protected her children from seeing her pain. I was only 11, so I had no idea what she was going through. I lost her at 55. I cried every day for the first year and some days I thought I wouldn't survive without her here. I wasn't stoic like she was, I called my daughter in tears many times and she was there for me in ways that I only wish I could have been for my mom.
Mom absolutely lived for her grandkids. She would hate this picture...but, you can see the love as she held my son for the first time. She is younger in both of these pictures with my babies than I am now. From that moment on, they shared a very special bond.
My daughter, a vision in pink on the way home
from the hospital, also captured her heart.
In the 3 years she has been gone, there have been so many changes in our family. My sister has had two daughters get married, I have one engaged. She would have been so happy for our girls and as wonderful as these moments are...something is just missing without her there. Some of her 6 grands have really thrived in the past 3 years, others have struggled and her youngest...is now 17, driving, going to prom and growing into a beautiful young lady.
Mom was our rock, the glue that held our family together. She was the one that we could talk to, who never minced words with us. When we spoke, she really listened and our kids had a respect for her opinions that they have never had for ours.
Life does go on and it certainly has in our family. Some wonderful things have happened since she left us and some not so great. We have had to adjust to things that are painful and difficult and yet we have survived. My sister and I are closer than ever, my daughter has really tried to step up and fill the void left by my mom, even though I tell her it isn't her job to "mother" me. People say it gets easier, and it does. The pain is no longer acute. I no longer wake up crying in the night and when I think of mom, I smile. The missing her, never gets better. She is with me every day of my life...and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, is May 13th a day of sorrow for me? Not really. I don't miss her more today than any other day, every other day. Is it jinxed that her mother died on May 13th and so did my Mom? I could think that (and I probably wouldn't go sky-diving today), or I could remember what someone wise told me...it is a special day. It is the day my Mom got to see her Mom again, after a long separation. I think that is a much better way to think of it. Love you Mom.
Our last "3 generation" picture.