Since my mom died nine years ago, Mother's Day has been one of my least favorite days of the year. Hallmark commercials, flower commercials, even Outback commercials could turn me into a blubbering mess within seconds. The worst was when someone who didn't know that my mom had passed away would ask me what I was doing to celebrate. Try answering that question without crying or making the person asking feel uncomfortable.
But, I think I turned a corner yesterday. The day started out great - B., Baby B. and Devo surprised me with cards and gifts - but then turned rocky as it hit me (for like the gazillionth time in the past 16 weeks) that I'm a mom - and that mom wasn't here to share this experience with me.
There are about a million things I want to ask my mom: what was I like as a baby, what was my brother like as a baby, am I doing this right, isn't Baby B. the most adorable thing you've ever seen, etc. But I can't. And that kills me. It also kills me that now that I'm a mom, I don't think I ever appreciated my mom enough. I'm happy to say with complete honesty that she was my best friend, but I don't think I told her that enough and I'm sad that I couldn't call her yesterday and tell her again.
(Bear with me; this is turning a corner, I promise.)
So, after the mixed emotions of yesterday - happiness that I'm now a mom, sadness that mine is gone - I think I've reached a turning point. Instead of Mother's Day being a day of loss, I'm going to make Mother's Day a day of remembrance. I'm going to 'talk' to my mom a little more next year and I'm going to tell Baby B. all about his grandma, starting with her love of irises. Maybe we'll even plant some.
Next Mother's Day isn't going to be perfect or easy, but I think it'll be better - because instead of wishing for new experiences with my mom, I can celebrate that the ones we did have prepared me for this new chapter in my life, which means she really is still with me.