I’m so glad I listened to my heart. I don’t always do that but my heart told me to take some time to embrace the season I’m in. A season I’ve never been in before. So taking the time to wonder if I’ve been dreaming for the past 10 months, to embrace my shock, sadness, memories, need for connection, taste my salty tears, stare in bewilderment, feel my lostness, bear my aloneness—and ponder my motherlessness proved fruitful for me. There are just a few times in my life where I’ve actually taken the time to do this. This was one of those times.
Taking the time to sit with my heart-thoughts led me to look back at 64 years of being physically in my mom’s presence on Mother’s Day. It was bittersweet to say the least. It was needed.
As a teenage wife and mom, my mom willingly embraced her new role with love. She held me. Fed me. Clothed me. Bathed me. Talked to me. Sang to me. Nurtured me. Disciplined me. Hoped for me. Advocated for me. Cheered for me. Supported me. Comforted me. Listened to me. Knew me. She mothered me until the day she took her last breath.
I visited my mom in the hospital on Mother’s Day last year. She was so happy to see me and I was grateful for the opportunity to visit since COVID restrictions were changing by the day. Armed with cards and gifts from the family, I felt like a pseudo-Santa Claus. We hugged. We talked. I held her hand.
This year, I wondered what she was thinking about on Mother’s Day 2020. The year before she was hospitalized. Surely she must have documented what her day was like. COVID had kept us physically apart, of course. It was a first for her. Us too. Mother’s Day was always centered around her. Always. We made sure of it. I’d set a beautiful table and cook the food she loved. She’d laugh. She was giddy. She was the Queen. The guest of honor. My mom. Our mom. Our Queen. I reached for her last journal and flipped the pages backward. Ahhh…here it is. I read it. I cried. She called out several family members and friends. She called me out! Yes!! She was so grateful.
Giving gifts on Mother’s Day is a tradition for many. It’s meant to convey love and appreciation. My first Mother’s Day without my dear mom delivered to me—on a silver platter—a gift. The Gift of Void. The Gift of Void caused me to long for her physical presence so much that it led me to ask the void filler Himself—The True and Living God—to fill me with Him. To fill all the places left empty in me by her absence. When He did that, I felt a peace. A peace that filled every inch of my empty aching heart.
Experiencing pain has a way of reshaping your heart to feel other’s pain—to relate to their empty void. That’s a gift, too. I understand and accept the gift with joy. 🎁❤️🌹
To all who reached out to me on Mother’s Day knowing it was a new season, thank you. I shall never forget your kindness. Thank you. 🙏🏾