Mother's Day will always do that for me, now that my mom is no longer here.
And, as is typical with so many aspects of life, so often it is the little things that erupt both of those emotions: tears and smiles.
I stood in the card aisle this week and literally cried. I simply could not pick out a card without hearing the chatter of other women around me picking one out for their mom. It hurt. I felt the potent reminder of mom being gone. Such a simple thing to bring so many tears to my eyes. Michael came to the rescue on that one.
The Hallmark commercial was so sentimental and so very true about different types of moms and different phases of life. I cried quiet tears. I don't have my mom to physically hold and thank this year.
At the Chick Fil A line yesterday, they were handing out carnations to all the moms. I felt special, Yet it evoked tears in my eyes, as I watched the different sets of mother and daughters milling about, laughing together.
I cried as I have shared quiet glances with other girlfriends this week who also are missing their mamas. It is a bond unspeakable that forms between friends, once the depths of that loss can be understood only by one who has also passed through those dark days.
As patience is a big theme in my life right now, I have often found myself in a quiet moment shedding a few quiet tears because I so long to share with my mom the hopes and dreams on which I am waiting right now. Hopes and dreams my mom would no doubt be cheering and praying me through on a daily basis.
I have cried over a cup of coffee even.
This week, it is has definitely been the little things in life which have evoked tears.
And yet, the little things have also brought big smiles and even laughter to my day.
I smiled as I recalled mom's favorite plant: Geraniums. I have inherited mom's "brown" thumb. I am terrible with plants, so I generally do not plant them because I know what will inevitably happen. But as I thought about Mother's Day, I thought to myself, 'what can I do to remember/honor mom?' I have often gone to the cemetery to put flowers. And while there is a part of me that is glad to do that, I wanted to do something that would do something for my heart, too. And then I saw a Geranium sign as I drove. And I thought...I want to hang a Geranium this Mother's Day in memory of mom. She loved those. And so Michael and the kids bought me one and it is now hanging outside the front of my home. Beautiful and also a significant reminder of mom, in a beautiful way. I believe she would love this. This brought a smile.
I smiled and laughed as I remembered how mom could pinch pennies better than anyone I have ever known my whole life. We didn't have a lot growing up, but I never really knew, nor did it ever really bother me. Mostly because mom always made the best of it all. It didn't matter if it was an oddly placed together meal with odds and ends from around the kitchen, or a goodwill clothing item- mom knew how to save money the right way and do it well. As we hosted a garage sale this weekend, I thought of mom often. She often would go to the big garage sales and find items to have for the kids to use for play time. Whether it was for her daycare years of watching kids in the home, or for her own grandkids, mom found pure joy in discovering a great toy at a garage sale. She knew how to save and do it all well. I loved this about her and I smiled remembering this and recounting stories of this to my own kids this weekend.
Both my daughter and I have inherited mom's love for reading and books. We drink them in, and we do it quickly. We love libraries, half price book stores, and friends who will swap books. Mom was always reading. She would stay up and lose hours of sleep because she simply could not put the book down. (And still get up happily the next morning and do all her chores...I could take lessons in this still). I have smiled this week remembering mom's avid love of books. She was the church librarian. She dedicated hours to logging books donated and organizing the system there and knowing what the library had to offer. She often times would go in on a Saturday to organize, and stay late on Sundays so people could have the time they needed to come in to get a book....or just to chat with "Linda the Librarian". She had a passion for reading. She never got to read my blog or even my published works since her passing, but I have no doubt it is because of her I also have this passion, and now my daughter does as well. I hope she lives on through my words and my writings.
So, it's the little things in life. The little things that so often trigger memories of my mom. Sometimes those memories bring tears. Other times, the memories bring smiles and laughter. But this mother's day, although it will always hold a twinge of pain and sadness, I am grateful for the little things. The little things I did get years to share with my mom. And now, the little things that I can share with my children and hopefully they will remember one day.
The little things like....
-laughing hysterically with my son over the stupidest commercials just because they are so cheesy
- having a long conversation with my daughter about whatever book she is currently reading; or even the series that we will read together.
-Snuggles on the couch with the kids
- playing a card game with Joseph
-Chalk drawing with Elizabeth on the sidewalk
The little moments, that most disregard as just a moment, are what become the bigger, more important moments in life. You usually don't know until you lose someone just how much the little things matter.
Mom, I miss you so much this mother's day. But thank you for teaching me to find such joy in the little moments. I hope I can teach my kids those things just as well. Happy Mother's Day to the woman who taught me how to love and to my mother who taught me to embrace the little things.