My not-so Mother’s Day

For the past eight years, I have found Mother’s Day to be… bad. It’s a sore spot for me, because the last time I ever spoke to my mother was ON mother’s day. I told her I loved her, the first time in a long time i’d said it outloud, she told me to come and visit her- and the night before my scheduled visit, she passed.
Even when I had kids of my own, the creeping memory of my very last conversation with my own mother would come crawling into my head.
It’s not that I spend the entire day crying or sulking. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the memories we made, or the CHANCE to tell her I loved her. I cherish that. I know SHE cherished that. It’s not even that I don’t appreciate the fact that I am now a mother and I have my kids to actually be able to celebrate this day with- but I can’t lie and say it’s easy, or fun, or any less painful than it was 8 years ago.
This year makes my ninth without her. Nine years, no mother to celebrate Mother’s Day with. No mother to shower in gifts or praise or love, not physically anyways. And all the emails and ads and commercials reminding me to do something nice for her most certainly aren’t making it any easier.
yes, how I would LOVE to have her here to tell her, even just ONE more time how much she really meant to me. To buy her a rose. To get her some chocolates. To do something as simple as passing her a card, even if the card wasn’t very heartfelt.

But this year… this year is different than all the previous. For the first time in 9 years, for SOME reason, the planets have aligned and made it so the anniversary of my mother’s death and the anniversary of the last time I ever spoke to her is ON Mother’s Day.
And all I can think is WHY? Why now? Why ever? Why did this have to happen? Why did she have to die so close to a day invented to celebrate mothers? And why can’t I see it as something to be thankful for instead of dreading? Why did it have to be a one-two punch to the gut? Why would I rather spend the day forgetting about WHAT day it is than maybe, for once, looking at it as a sign. From my mom. To just take it all in, cherish this time with my children, because as proven by how short her life was cut, you never know when your last day will be, or what day it will be on.

I know that if nothing else, the passing of my mother 9 years ago today, losing her so young, should show me that life is precious. We should take full advantage of EVERY moment. Smother our children. Spoil them with love- even when it embarrasses them. Even when they hate it or resent us for it- we should do it. Let them KNOW us, the real us; and get to know them, even if we might not agree. I’m not sure my mother and I ever did either.

This mothers day should be about love, and reminiscing. Remembering my mother in the good times. Remembering how passionate she was about EVERYTHING she truly cared about. That even though I know she found fault with herself as a mother, even though I found fault with her as a mother, even when I find fault with myself as a mother now, that in the end we all do our best to do the best for our children. In the end that is what she would want for me- the best.
And I know she’s gone. I know she’s never coming back, but on THIS mothers day, this weird planets aligning out of sorts terrible timing mothers day- I SHOULD be thinking of her. It’s only right. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be hurt. It’s ok to be jealous of those who still have their mothers around to yell at, bitch about, and cherish. It should be about her memory, and that even though she is gone she is never REALLY gone. She will always be here, as long as I DO remember, as long as I DO hurt, as long as I DO feel it. It might get easier to accept that she won’t be here, but it doesn’t ever get easier.

It does make me more thankful. More thankful to be here for my children, even if I don’t know how long for. Thankful to HAVE children, and to have the memories of my mom to share with them, even if it kills me that they’ll never be able to make any of their own. Thankful to be alive, to be a mother, and to be able to celebrate mothers day. Thankful to be able to do everything… maybe not even right… but to the best of my ability. Maybe sometimes not even that. Just thankful.

G.D.F- 10/8/58 – 5/13/03

Posted on May 13, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 15 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Well done my friend. Love you.


  • I just recently lost my Great Grandmother. While not my Mother she was the binding force of my family. This Mothers Day has been hard for all of us because we always tried to see her on Mothers Day no matter where we have been located. Your blog is a great reminder that while it is sad, hard and just plain gut-retching there is a lot to still celebrate in life with our own children. Thank you for this today, for sharing and for opening my eyes. Also for the cry, crying is good for the soul.

  • Facebook is not allowing me to post comments on your page…I keep getting messages that say “page not found”???? I lost my Dad, my Mom and my partner within a very short span of time. I can understand why this day is rather emotional for you…I spent the day at our old summer home, sitting on the beach and remembering the good times…

  • You look alot like your mom. Sorry for your loss… but you are right its ok to hurt, be mad, and bitch! Great blog

  • In the UK, Mother’s Day is in March but this blog really hit home with me today. If I’m honest, Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year for me. My own mum passed away in 2005 and since then Mother’s Day has been crap. Then in 2008 my baby girl died and Mother’s Day became even more monumentally shit; the day spent first visiting my mother’s grave, followed by a trip to the Children’s Garden to visit my daughter’s grave. I’ve since had another child (2yo boy who thinks he’s 12…!) and even though he is a joy, and is the most wonderful little man, I can’t deny that Mother’s Day is still a bit shit. He has helped take away some of the pain, but not all. So I feel your pain, and thank you for sharing your blog xx

  • I lost my mother in 2004….every mothers day since then just hasn’t had the same meaning. I have done all I can to do trick my brain into thinking its great..I have my children, my sweet guy and now my Grams living with me…that should have made things perfect…my ex even got to see how WONDERFUL of a Mothers Day my children and sweets put on for us, but in the back of my mind ALL I could do was think, how great would it be for Mom to be here to argue with me over what I am doing wrong? Hugs girl…

  • As I sat here alone in the dark reading this, the tears were plentiful, but I just want to say THANK YOU. thank you for being brave enough to talk about this. Thank you for admitting that although our relationships may not have always been perfect, that it’s okay to miss our mothers terribly. I knew our stories were similar, but I didn’t realize just how much alike our lives have really been. I was 16 and my mom was 48 when she passed. I like to tell my son as much as I can about his grandmother, because I feel it’s my duty. I know exactly where you’re co
    Ing from when you talk about the jealously that’s felt when seeing other women celebrating with their moms. It’s hard. But I don’t feel as alone now-thank you.

  • You look crazy identical!!!! Remind me of me n my mom!!!!

  • Thank you so much for this, Jenny. I lost my mother November 18, 2008. I used to love Mother’s Day. I’d spend the whole day at mom’s house, joking, laughing, talking about every damn thing that crossed our minds. She was my best friend, my sounding board, my hero, and my rock. The one person who got me, who I could tell anything and know that she’d never turn away. She was horribly ill the last 2 years, I took care of her, changed her clothes and helped her in the bathroom, gave her medicine, brushed her hair. Several times she tried to thank me, but dammit, never once did I do anything for that woman that she hadn’t done for me a million times. She was my mom. I have had a horrible time this Mother’s Day, for some reason, I just can’t fake the happy. I feel like a turd, my kids both gave me so much love, my stepkids gave me love, but in the end, I just want my Mom. Thanks for showing me I’m not not alone. I made the mistake of getting on FaceBook earlier, depressing as hell. Then I saw your post. Thanks for sharing your story, looking at that pic, I can see from her eyes how you got your humor and joy. I finally let my tears flow. Thanks Jenny, you made it ok. Been holding this in all day because I’m supposed to be happy. *Hugs*

  • I lost my mom on 5-2-08. 3 days before my middle son turned 9 and 10 days before my oldest turned 14, and the weekend my 7 and 9 year old boys were to graduate cub scouts. The morning my mom passed, I yelled at her. She had been in very bad health and was in an incredible amount of pain. She was doped up on her pain meds and I couldn’t understand a word she said. May is the hardest time of the year to be without her. She was my best friend and biggest fan. I would do anything in the world to be able to say I’m sorry and I love her one more time. Thank you for your blog on this day. This past weekend I got a tattoo of the date of my mom’s passing. Not as a way to remember her death but as a reminder of all that she means to me and to remember the years I had the privilege of having her in my life, and I am forever grateful, my kids’ lives. You may not realize it, but your blogs and the fact that you share the things you have been through and go through daily, help. Thank you, again. So very much.

  • I lost my youngest daughter just a week before Mother’s Day in 2013. When we went to her home to clear it out before her so called friends or landlord did, laying up against the vase on her diningroom table were some cards. She had bought them the day before she passed. She signed them that evening, including some heartfelt thanks to me for being there for her and went to bed to never wake up again. She was so excited about the upcoming Mother’s Day because she was sober for the first time in 7 years and trying so hard to get back in her girl’s lives. Amanda was the youngest of my four daughters, and when she passed leaving behind her four daughters, I was devastated. Not only for the loss, but because it hit me that I was now going to be “mommy” to her four daughters. They will suffer this loss forever…. Those little girls were stuck with me, a grumpy, impatient, oh so tired woman to show them the way through this big scary world. It’s been three years and I am still LOST. I am still MAD as hell. And I just want to stay under my rock and never come out again. I used to love this holiday, simply because it celebrated ME for doing the best thing I have ever done in my life, have children. Now, I do everything I can to skip over the day as fast as I can. Those sweet cards, the handmade “coupons” for making me breakfast in bed or cleaning their room without complaining, and handpicked flowers coming to me should be going to their mama. It hurts that my ganddaughters can’t see the pride, the joy, the love from my daughter as she is given these sweet gifts. I accept them for her and I HATE it. I hate Mother’s Day. It hurts too much….