Mothers’ Day was last Sunday (at least in the US and NZ) and I doubt you could have missed it. Companies go mental, all competing for your dollars. Adverting streams through your letterbox, your inbox and even that big box in the corner of your lounge – the television. Now don’t get me wrong – I think it’s great to show affection for mothers by buying them a gift. I certainly love the oven-safe frying pan that I’d been lusting after and that CJ “bought” me. I can’t deny that this year was difficult though – I really did miss my mum and every advert was just a reminder of her missing from my life. Last year I just ignored the holiday but this year, it was impossible – thinking back twenty-nine years ago to her first mothers’ day when I was a similar age to what CJ is now. She would have been a great grandma, and while she is doing a marvelous job as CJ’s guardian angel I can’t help but wonder how life would be different with her here.
It was somewhat cathartic to head off during CJ’s Sunday afternoon nap for a walk to clear my head and made me smile because that was always something she did. Although I didn’t understand at the time, she did a lot of walking around the time of my youngest sister’s disability diagnosis and I can’t imagine how stressful that would have been. She (and my father) installed in me a love of exploring and that had me scrambling down the banks of a creek to investigate where the creek flowed to next. The announcement of the new Star Wars films reminds me that the originals were the first films I was allowed to stay up late and watch – Darth Vader was the villain of my first nightmare I can remember! I look at CJ’s changing eye colors and copper-blonde highlights and I see little pieces of her there. She also showed me that it was okay to feel, and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have minded the fact that I sat in my car crying for a while before heading home to my lovely boys, knowing that while I’m incredibly lucky to have them I’m also sad that I don’t still have her.
While Mothers’ Day is a celebration, please do bear in mind that it can be a little hard for some of us. Not only those of us who have lost our mums, but women who have lost their children before or after birth, women who don’t get to spend it with their children and women who have desperately wanted to become mothers but struggle with the burden of infertility. If we get a little sad or even a little angry around this time, it’s okay. Give us a big hug and we’ll be back to our usual sparkly selves soon.