Today is particularly bittersweet. A beautiful mother’s day while I’m going through a crisis in virtually every area imaginable.
And my mother passed away almost four years ago.
I miss her each and every year. I think about her beyond often. But feeling so utterly lost and alone right now has me stunned at the vast hole her parting creating. My mom could develop connections with just about everyone, and especially her children.
I enjoy a self-help book every now and again, and one of my cousins pointed me toward one that creates the idea of elements as a person’s character trait. Each element has it’s own face shape, colors, doodle inclination, and a whole host of others. Honestly, I found the book just like all the other similar self-helps, but there were some interesting observations amongst the opinionated science.
However, the original premise for me reading the book stays one of the most intriguing for me. My cousin mentioned that she found this book incredibly helpful in communicating with and understand her children. It opened up options that were up to that point unknown and brought a plethora of positive effects to her home.
My wife and I don’t have any children of our own, so I didn’t read it with the same outreach, but it has got me thinking about my mother’s knack for reaching all of her kids on different levels. Because my sisters and I are all dynamically different, and yet we all developed deep and meaningful relationships with our mom.
I do know my mother had a college degree in family science (or something like that), but I never discovered what that meant. My mother kept all of her personal identity extremely secret, and to this day, I don’t know much about her history. I didn’t learn her favorite color until she was on her death bed.
Anyway, I know that my mom studied the psychology of families and children a little bit. Still, I’m uncertain how much of her ability to interact with us was organic or inspired by what she would read and study. She was always a student, always learning, and always reading something.
In some ways, I’m upset that my mother’s knowledge wasn’t directly passed down to her kids, but I do know that she succeeded in doing that indirectly. Whatever that means.
My mother was many things. She stood up to her bosses at work, challenging them on the system of not rewarding women like they do men, and because of her immeasurable value, hard work, and proof of workplace results, she came out of that meeting with a substantial raise. They heard her words, viewed her evidence, and respected her as a person.
She learned to overcome her fear so many times. She lived her life for her children. She redefined herself after getting divorced. Her relationship with God meant everything to her. She overcame her insecurities and self-doubts when she earned a Westwind Blackbelt. She surprised herself with something new when she learned how to ride a motorcycle, and eventually rode a Harley Davidson with a legit motorcycle gang.
She kept her problems private. She learned to show the world what she wanted them to see. She loved her family, helped out her mother, and her brothers and sisters, and made incredible ties with her in-laws.
She had the respect of both children and adults. She never judged a person beyond or according to her desired opinion. She extended unbiased trust to her children and supported them in living their own lives.
I feel like my descriptions are inadequate, and yet theirs so much to say that I don’t know how to communicate.
I still need my mother, and while I believe in an afterlife, and a future existence where all people will reunite as perfected beings, I haven’t missed my mom as much as I do now.
I need her altruistic listening. I need her open advice. I need to know what I’m doing well. I need to believe that I am a creature of value and worth, both to myself and others.
As I’ve stuck myself in this odd emotional state, I’ve realized that she was the only one I trusted to know all of it and to help me out of it. I could hold onto her words and know where they came from without worry or fear. I have a deep-seated mistrust of the humanity around me, and I know it’s a combination of them and me that’s contributed to that.
But I never doubted or mistrusted my mother.
That’s a pillar of peace, I just realized.
I don’t visit my mother’s grave. I don’t understand what going to the place where her body resides will do. I believe that if I want to talk to her, I can do that anywhere I am. Her spirit no longer rests with her flesh, and I find no comfort in talking to old bones. I appreciate those who create a respectable business on maintaining the memories of those we love, but I value the memory more than her final resting place.
I wonder how long it’ll take for me to forget her face or her voice. Or to forget her personality or those times we’d laugh or cry together. All things pass on. All things have their time and season under the sun. And being human, our very lives are built on change. And if something or someone doesn’t have the opportunity to change with us, they will eventually fall behind.
I’m not troubled by this, but I also need to believe that God will help me keep my mother alive in my mind and heart. I won’t willingly let her fade, but I don’t always get to choose what happens.
So in the spirit of mother’s day, I wish to express my love for my mother. I want to say thank you to her and to let her know I’m still remembering, honoring, and trying so hard to be a good man, a good person, and a growing person.
I also want to recognize my grandmothers, my mother-in-law, my stepmother, and those dear friends that are mothers to me in their own rights. I love you all, and can’t be grateful enough.
Lastly, I want to recognize my Heavenly Mother. The woman who’s married to God and helps coordinate all of this mess. I have no idea what or who we’d be without her, and while Her nature is guarded more closely than our Heavenly Father’s, I know without a doubt that her imprint and involvement in our lives is substantial.
I know this because of my own mother, and I know that since she’s been dead, she hasn’t been idle. I imagine Heavenly Mother and my mother are two peas in a pod and up to who knows what kinds of shenanigans.
I wouldn’t expect anything less.
And to all you out there, reading this, who have all your own dynamic, simple, complicated, non-existent, troubled, loving, or any other kind of relationship with your mothers, if I may say in humility, express some love to them on this day.
We don’t get very far without our mothers. At the very least, they brought us into this world. And at the very least, that’s one of the most exceptional opportunities any of us are ever given. To have a life is no small thing. And to be a co-creator in that life is more profound than a gift or miracle.
Happy Mother’s Day.