Mother’s Day will arrive soon. On a warm spring day, wrapped in a lovely lilac box or steeped in fresh water, shortly it will be here. All the commercials tell us so. My newspaper flyers are bulging with Mother’s Day advertisements. I’ve been asked several times what my plans are for this special day. After all, I am a mother too.
I spent Mother’s Day four years ago at the hospital. I was awakened at 2 AM with an urgent call from the nurse. I sped like a drunk driver to make the one-hour trip. I still marvel that I made that drive in one piece. I was out of my mind with an explosion of emotions. I chanted to myself over and over on the drive to the hospital for my mom to hold on for one last goodbye. She didn’t. As I stood in the doorway of her room, I saw her motionless body. Her body had become a shell of her former self. I was numb with the fear that this gentle soul had left my world. This incredible mother had surrounded me with warmth, caring and love my entire life . My feet felt like stone as I made my way to her bedside. I closed my mother’s eyes. Stroking her cheek, I was reminded of the silkiness of her skin. I kissed her cheek and held her hand for the very last time. When I turned to leave her room I know that part of me stayed with her.
From that day forward I would explain to my young daughters that their grandma’s body was like a beautiful seashell. All the love and memories would fill their hearts, and when we remember and honor we can imagine a seashell. No one on earth was as beautiful as my mother. She deserved a memory that was equally stunning.
So surely, along with my girls, I will spend Mother’s Day at the cemetary. I’ll feel the warmth of the sun on my back and watch what has grown new in the spring. The maple trees my mom so loved will remind me of the many gifts that we are given. I’ll be reminded of the countless hours my mom spent in that sun, planting her garden just so. All the years of unwavering love, dedication and support of me and of my children. I’ll remember the gentle strumming of the guitar player who so lovingly etched that final memory of my mother’s burial.
I believe in the power of a mother’s love. On this Mother’s Day, I will wrap nothing that can be held in one’s hand. I will simply wrap myself in the warmth of a lifetime of being my mother’s girl.
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