It always takes me by surprise to remember that my mom has gone on before me and my dad. She left this earth last December 16, and although I miss her voice and physical presence, she is still with me.
I still have my mother. This Mothers’ Day will not be as the ones before, where we would go up and visit, go out to lunch or eat a special meal at home. I will not bring a gift or flowers or a card to commemorate my mother on Mothers Day this year. Her life, her presence, the sound of her voice is with me still.
Sometimes early in the morning, I feel the slightest touch on my face–a breath, a kiss–I know it is my mom, checking in on me. As strange as it sounds, I feel close to her still. I can feel her joy in the freedom of leaving a sick, tired, weak and painful body; she soars now with wings of cobalt blue. I know her heart is joyful, and I know she is near my dad and I from time to time. I believe that time exists in different dimensions, and that in fact my mom and I aren’t far apart at all.
When I visit our family headstone in the cemetery across the street from the house I grew up in, I always leave a small stone there. I say to Mom, ‘I know you’re not there. But I know where you are now, and I know that you are always part of my heart.’
Whenever I visit my dad, I go through a drawer, a closet, the bookcases and so on. It’s part of what Dad and I do to decide what to keep, what to gift to people, what to donate, and what to throw away. That last is hardest for me. Just the other day I found a large binder full of clippings, pictures, notices, and so on.
In it, there were newspaper articles about things I did in school, pictures and reviews of the plays and choirs I was in, and so much more. I had no idea she kept it all. I brought the binder upstairs to show Dad; he too went through it. We laughed and said it was truly a trip down memory lane for us both.
A family, even one as small as ours; Mom, Dad and me—is a unit of love, faith, and a hundred million tiny kindnesses and acts of loving generosity. It is the cellular memory of all that, plus the actual tangible things like the binder, that proclaims us to be a family. Even death cannot change that fact, nor touch all that love.
I still have my mother. I will always have my mother, my father, and all those who have gone before me. That love is never lost to us, and I imagine that, once we pass through our own deaths we will know the truth.
For me that truth is that love never dies, and those we love will be with us. Knowing and believing this with all my heart, I can face this Mothers Day with happiness and not sorrow, love and not longing, joy and not tears.
Because I still have my mother–always.