My Greatest Regret, On Mother’s Day

Even though I am a mother of three and am thankful for my blessings every single day, Mother’s Day isn’t a special day for me. Hearing and seeing the words are like a tiny punch in the gut, every single time. To me, Mother’s Day is a day when I should celebrate my mother. And she isn’t here for me to be able to do that.

I lost my mom when I was 18. Right smack dab in the middle of the “I am a jerk and treat you horribly” stage. I held on to that regret for a very long time. However, now that I am a mother myself I know that she recognized it for what it was- a stage. A natural right of passage,  a college freshman exercising her independence. She knew that I wouldn’t have talked to her like that if I didn’t love her more than anyone else in the world. I was just beginning to come around and then she passed away suddenly. We were robbed of the stage where I get to apologize and grow to become best friends. However, that isn’t my greatest regret.

I marvel at all that I have been through without her here on Earth. Graduating college, working a job I didn’t love (hearing her say “I told you so” every step of the way), getting married, getting pregnant, raising my first child, raising twins, navigating adult life, relationships, and every other little thing along the way. I missed her every single day, but I also accepted that it is what it is and held my head high.

And now, here I am, a mother of three with the greatest regret of all.

While there is nothing I can do to change it, and nothing I could have done differently, my greatest regret is that she isn’t here with her grandchildren. I never would have imagined that now, in my adult life with my own family unit established, I would miss her more than ever. My mother was a woman who lived for family. When my father was dying, the first thing she said to me was “who is going to walk you down the aisle?” She would have adored these children. I can’t give her the gratification of calling her for motherly advice or leaning on her when I need her most. I can’t return the love by letting her love on her grandchildren. My heart shatters whenever I think about how much she would have loved these children. They would have been her world, and she theirs.

I know I am living the life she would have wanted for me, and the best gift I can give her now is to do my darnedest to teach my kids about her and my dad, to shower them with love as they taught me to do, and to embrace every second of my fragile time with them. She wouldn’t want me to be sad today; she would want me to celebrate what she taught me was of utmost importance- family.

I used to just block this day out, treating it as just another day.  However, now I am a mom too and I can’t ignore it. I usually take things in stride, but now it hits me harder than I ever would have imagined. Perhaps I am just overly sentimental because I’m so darn sleep-deprived, but I know that’s not it. As happy and grateful as I am, no matter where I go or what I do, I will always have this mother-sized hole. She will always have been robbed of meeting her grandchildren and they will always wonder why they can’t see her.

This year I will celebrate Mother’s Day. I don’t really like attention; I haven’t celebrated my birthday in years. However, I have three kids who, like me, will want to celebrate their mother. I owe it to them, and I owe it to my mom. We will buy a beautiful hanging plant, the one gift she requested every year, and I will tell my children all about why our “Grandma Wilma plant” is so special. I will remind them of how much she loves them and I will smile, because I know that she would have wanted nothing more than for me to be able to experience the precious gift of motherhood myself.

This Mother’s Day, please do me and everyone else who misses their beloved mothers a favor and take a moment to celebrate the most important mother- your mother.

Mom, I love you. You truly are “the wind beneath my wings.”

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16 thoughts on “My Greatest Regret, On Mother’s Day

  1. Mary says:

    Those are such beautiful and heartfelt words. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t get the privilege of meeting your mom of course, but I am always in awe of how much you have accomplished without her and that is a testament to the way she raised you, the strength and the values she passed on to you. She would have been incredibly proud of the woman you have become and the 3 amazing children you are raising. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • strollersavvy says:

      Thank you Mary, this made me cry. She would have loved you. I have always looked at you as a model of strength and incredible mothering skills. Thanks for always being so supportive. Have a fabulous Mother’s Day!

  2. Erin says:

    What a beautiful tribute! I loved reading this and it brought tears to my eyes! You are an inspiration to live every day to the fullest, Andrea!

  3. Rebecca Bain says:

    Dear Andrea,

    God willing, you will enjoy your mother and your children in eternity and that’s a much longer time then this brief time on earth. death cannot separate us from love. your mother is loving you where she is.

    I hope you have a beautiful Mother’s Day!

    • strollersavvy says:

      Thank you so very much. This made me cry too 🙂

      Happy Mother’s Day to you as well. You certainly have a lot to celebrate! I hope it involves your awesome strawberry pie 🙂

  4. Christina Winterbottom says:

    My mom passed in 2007, I was 21 with a newborn.. She was 50. She was too sick to hold my son. Meanwhile, my siblings, who are much older than me, enjoyed years of having her as “grandma” as well. I’m forever resentful of that, and even more so that my daughter, named after my mother three years after her death, can barely understand how I’ve lived without a mom…

    • strollersavvy says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Perhaps when the kids are older, their cousins can share memories of Grandma with them as well. I am working on another post with more ideas- stay tuned. What a great tribute to name your daughter for your mom- my kids also have names/meanings honoring their grandparents.

  5. Joann says:

    Andrea-
    My story and yours are so similar. I’m older than you, but the love lasts and lasts. Your mother would be so proud of the woman you have grown into! Hugs to you special lady.

    • strollersavvy says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I know it is never easy, no matter what age. Hugs to you as well. 🙂

  6. Cheryl says:

    This is so beautiful, Andrea. I know your mom would be so proud of the mother that you have become. Thank you for sharing these words. Sending much light and love your way… and happy mothers day!!!

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