Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Wishing you were here..."

“But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

 Behind all stories is your mothers story. My mother was only seventeen when she married. She gave birth to her first child at eighteen and moved almost a thousand miles away from her own family to continue her life with my father. She would give birth to four more children by age thirty-seven and pass away before reaching her forty-first birthday.
Behind all stories is your mothers story. My mother was a warm and loving person. My father and grandmother reassured me she treasured and enjoyed being a mother. She was the type of woman who sacrificed her own needs so that her children would never go with out. There was not a moment of my early childhood when I didn't feel completely loved and adored. My sisters and I shared a deep, loving connection with Mom. She was the parent we lavished with hugs and kisses. She was the one we told our stories and secrets. She was the one whose attention we fought over and who's approval we deeply desired.

Behind all stories is your mothers story. When a child loses their mother at an early age we tend to pity them or make them feel like they will always be psychologically scarred. Many children, adolescents and teenagers who lose a parent early in life will develop severe depression or begin to abuse drugs and alcohol to deal with their pain. There is an emptiness, a void that needs to be filled. Every human being reacts differently to grief. Losing a parent at any age is devastating and you will never "get over it".  There are many of us who lost a parent early who became stronger and more resilient. Granted, we sacrificed our childhoods and battled many dark days to see light again. We could have easily been drawn in the opposite direction bringing pain and suffering upon ourselves and others. Today my sisters are amazing mothers who have raised wonderful children. My sisters are beautiful and strong individuals. Some how we all remained kind, compassionate and loving in the face of profound adversity. Sadly, after the passing of my father and grandmother my brothers may never fully understand the depth of our mothers love for them. They have missed or never shared the same memories as their sisters. My brothers were only five and three when she was over powered by cancer. They need to hear and read how fiercely she fought to stay alive for them,  for us all. She was in constant pain during the last years of her life but she was a real fighter. She celebrated birthdays, holidays, listened to our petty arguments, reviewed our homework and watched her children play never revealing her true agony. She was more brave and heroic than a soldier on a battlefield. That is strength. That is courage. It is now up to my sisters and me to sustain her legacy in their hearts.

Behind all stories is your mothers story. Love is the strongest force in the universe. Show your gratitude. Love in return. Love is greater and more powerful than having children, a spouse or a lover. Love your life. Be who you are and not what other people want you to be. My Mom never had the opportunity to experience so many things we take for granted.  My choice to be child free and single was influenced by my Mom but not in the negative way people imagine.  Appreciate your life. Savor every minute. Savor those beautiful magical moments that define a universal connection; a butterfly lands in your hands, the sun peeks out behind the clouds to shine on your face and she is with you. Unexpectedly, you see her photo as a beautiful memory flashes before your eyes, you hear her favorite song, inhale the scent of  her cologne  or read a  meaningful poem or book passage and think to yourself, " Thank you, Mom.  I love you too. I love you"

Happy Mother's Day to Les and, Laurie. Love you. Happy Mother's Day to Lorraine. Happy Mother's Day to all mother's.