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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Just Do It

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I am doing it. No more excuses. I just have to get this first article out there so that I can move forward with the millions of other articles and ideas I have stockpiled for years. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be insightful or life changing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to say everything I want to say all at once.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I am a mother to three young children who recently up and moved across the country seeking new adventures and a fresh start on things.

It doesn’t have to tell you I have always loved writing and am making the commitment to carve time out for myself to do what I love. That I am writing just to write and if I inspire others along the way that is even better.

It doesn’t have to go into the details of why I have let fear, laziness, technological ineptitude, lack of time, etc. get in my way.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I want this blog to represent the things that consume me and that I hope to inspire you through my passions. That I consider parenting an umbrella term for just about anything (healthy eating and exercise, crafting ideas, play group minutiae, toddler truths, education, travel, home, finances, marriage, etc.). Or how being a mommy has impacted me emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.

It doesn’t have to tell you I’m a slight Pinterest addict who rarely actually does the projects… and that when I do they are mostly epic failures. That I get carried away with thoughts and ideas, but find it challenging to sit down and implement them.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I am a positive person who didn’t really start out that way.

It doesn’t have to tell you how far I am stepping out of my comfort zone to write on a public forum. How it took me about 9 years to warm up to the idea of Facebook or even a smart phone.

It just has to be written. No more excuses. So here it is, my first blog post. Maybe it will never look exactly how I want it. Maybe that’s the point. I am stroller savvy, not tech savvy. I need to just roll with life. I’m excited to get into the real writing, to see where this adventure leads. So here we go… I am pressing the publish button. I am also pressing the share and “like” buttons. If you want to join me on this journey and see where it takes us, please do the same.

Oh, and one more thing… I DID IT, now it is your turn! What is your thing? What have you been holding back for whatever reason? Just let go and fly.