Having Coffee on Mother’s Day

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how grateful I am for family, my family. This Mother’s Day was a hard one. It’s the first one without my dear and lovely mother. I miss her so very much, but she is with me still, in my heart.

My brother commented that now I’m the only mother in our immediate family. That shook me a little bit. My dad looked a bit sad today but said he was fine. My husband, who lost his mom 11 years ago, made my day extra special. These men are my fiercely brave protectors. They are my rocks. Words could never describe my love and gratitude for them. I am who I am because of them.

My children made my day today by spoiling me! How could any mother be so blessed! My oldest daughters made special, amazingly delicious brunch delicacies. I have more than likely gained 10 pounds from sheer yumminess today alone. My son made me gifts that brought me years of sheer joy. All four tidied up twice today and showered me with love.

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I miss my mom everyday but I know she is in heaven looking down on us all. I miss her voice, our long conversations that could solve all the world’s problems. I miss her laugh which would light up the room. I miss her hugs that would envelop me and let me know all was alright. I miss her hands. She could do anything with those hands yet they were beautiful. Mom, if you can read this in heaven, happy mother’s day. I love you and will always until the end of time.

Mother’s Day Without Mom

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Mother’s Day is coming up and this is the first year I’m not looking forward to it. For anyone who has lost their mother it is a very difficult day. Stores are filled with reminders that Mother’s Day is approaching. TV commercials flood in with reminders. All I see are reminders that my mom isn’t getting card this year. I won’t be eating dinner with my mom this year.

I have my children who will make my day special with a card and delicious brunch. That will make this day easier, but it won’t make me miss my mom any less. I feel that now I have become motherless child. I can talk to her all the time, yet I can not hear her voice. I can no longer hug her or kiss her cheek. We can’t laugh together like we used to. It’s been just 5 months since She took her last breath. I miss her every day.

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It is a concept that unless you’ve lost your mom, you simply can’t understand it no matter how hard you try. You can sympathize to an extent, but it just won’t be the same until you go through it.  It’s a misery I wouldn’t wish for anyone. Moms are so special. I know my mom was the best mom I could ever ask for. She was always full of life. That is how I will always remember her.

As we celebrate the Mother’s Day, we should remember all moms. The moms who are with us, the moms we have lost and the women who we consider moms. It’s going to be such a bittersweet Mother’s Day for me this year, but I’ll get through it. Heck, my oldest daughter won’t even be home this year.

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For those of us without our moms, it’s just tough. Tears will flow for many as we remember all the good and wonderful times we had with our moms. We may seem okay on the outside but our inside may be a blubbering mess. We cry in private. We mourn for a long time. We still miss our moms no matter how many years go by or how old we are. No one can take her place. She will always be your mom.

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I Want My Mom Again

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There is always just something we all want in our life.  We may want more time, more money, more energy.  Maybe you want another chance to do something over again so you could do it just a little differently.  I am no different from anyone else in this world and I’ve thought about this quite a bit over the last few days.  It’s a hard thing to determine sometimes because all those things are very relevant in today’s society.  I believe that everyone will agree that more hours in the day to get things done, more energy to get those things accomplished and more money to accomplish said things would be greatly useful.  But did you ever stop to really think , how would those things really improve your life? I think we would still be in the same predicament we are now because we would just find more things to fill up the time with, spend the money on and the extra energy would be depleted because of it.

croagh patrick with sheepBecause of this, I think if I had anything, I  would choose something specific.  If only I had another year with my mom.  I miss her so much.  I know that perhaps other people may ask why another year, why not just a day or why not 10 more years. Well, to be honest, I would be happy to have my mom for any length of time, but another year knowing that she could be completely healthy would give us enough time to spend each and every day together doing things together.  We could travel to Ireland to see family.  We could spend those days laughing and walking and chatting.  I could be writing all of her stories down and taking pictures of all the places she knew and know the places from her perspective.

We could travel to France.  Neither of us have ever been there.  I would love to go there with my mom and my middle daughter, who actually speaks French really well.  I know my older daughter would enjoy going with us too.  What a joy for us to spend a couple weeks in France, all of us girls, eating our way through the French countryside!

loveHow much fun it would be to spend a week with mom’s brother and his family in New York. They are fabulous and so much fun.  I haven’t seen them in so many years and I miss them tremendously.  My uncle is the last of mom’s siblings still living and the two of them were always thick as thieves.  So many stories mom had of how my uncle would even do her chores so she could study.  Never was there a better brother she told me.

We would travel where mom wanted to go, to places we’ve been and places she wanted to see.  It would be a great adventure.  When we weren’t on a magical adventure, we would have many cups of tea and ham sandwiches.  Mom would insist on cooking some of her killer awesome dinners and I know we would have to go out to eat at some really good restaurants, too!   No matter what my mom ate, and she could eat, she always maintained her stylish, slim, athletic figure, unlike me.

Even if we didn’t have all those adventures like I imagine we would, I know I would spend my time with her, especially knowing that I only had her for one last year before having to say goodbye, again.  I would try to gather as much knowledge from her as my tiny mind could possibly hold.  I would relish every single moment and treasure each touch of the hand, each hug.  I just really, really miss her.  The pain isn’t as bad as it was in the beginning, but it’s still there, always present, just not as raw as before.  So if I had one wish for anything in the world, I would tell you this…if only I had another year with my mom, I would treasure each moment and write every memory down and take so many pictures.  I would make each day count. Most of all, I would tell her I love her every day and hold her in my embrace just to remember her more.

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This has been written as part of Finish the Sentence Friday.  This week I am co-hosting with the ever fabulous, Kristi of http://www.FindingNinee.com fame! Please check out the other writers as they finish the sentence this week which is “If I only had…” Thanks for reading!

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The Grieving Nearly Nine Year Old

IMG_1053.JPGAnd so after all these months, it takes the death of a hamster and a baby squirrel to get my son to finally grieve and cry for his grandma.  November 25th, my mother passed away and heaven gained an incredibly bright and vivacious angel.  She had a stroke 5 weeks earlier and was doing better, initially beating the odds as she so often did, but then something happened and that changed the course of her life and ours irrevocably.Most of us have accepted this but my nearly 9 year old son, not so much.

Liam wouldn’t cry in front of anyone.  It’s not to say that he didn’t cry, but he wouldn’t cry in front of anyone.  It’s as though in that quick blink of an eye, my little boy was trying so hard to be strong for me.  He hated to see me sad and crying, and I was sad and crying a lot.  She was my mom and learning how to live life without my mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I’m still learning.  But for Liam, without anyone telling him, he wanted to be strong for me.

There were things he would suddenly not do.  He didn’t want me to look at the cemetery as we passed by every hockey day.  He said, “mom, don’t look over there, please.  I don’t want you to be sad or cry.” He knows exactly where mom is buried. Once he saw that I didn’t cry or make us trot over there, he felt more comfortable with me driving him to hockey. Thank God for the small miracles.

He didn’t want me to watch sad things in case I would be sad and cry.  Instead, he wanted to play video games where he could fight and do damage to things, or drive super fast and have cool cars, or just play the mind-numbing Mine Craft that all the kids his age play.

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I felt like I had lost my sweet, caring, concerned little boy.  Apparently, I didn’t.  Of this, I am so grateful.  He still snuggles with me.  He still has a big heart.  How big I didn’t know until we got the sickly hamster and the sickly baby squirrel, Bandit and Felix.  We lost both of these little creatures within a day of each other and Liam was distraught.

He talked about his grandma for the very first time since losing her.  The very first time!  He told me how he still hurts so much and it’s just so hard to go to her house to see grandpa because she isn’t there.  He told me it’s hard to go to church because she was always there  He cried without abandon.  Tears streaming and face buried deep in my lap, the tears kept coming.  We cuddled and talked for a very long time.  We talked about grandma, about grief, about the animals, about why God takes grandmas and baby animals home to heaven.  We talked about everything.

I reminded him that God has a plan for all of us and a lot of the time, we don’t understand what that plan is for any of us.  That it is okay not to understand because it’s God’s plan and He knows best.  It does make us very sad, but in heaven, no one is sick.  Our animal friends will be healthy and happy.  They will be greeted by grandma who will feed them and care for them like she always did with all the little creatures here.  As for Grandma, it was her time to go to the glory of heaven and be young and free and healthy.  Here, she was sick and wasn’t going to be the healthy, independent grandma she had always been before her stroke.  God knew that in her heart, she didn’t want to have to be dependent so he ushered her through to heaven, where she can be with all the angels and saints.  She can watch over us and pray for us to keep us safe.  Now, she always with us.

This long chat seemed to help, but every time we talked about grandma, he cried.  Oh, he cried. I reminded him of all the good things we have here.  I reminded him how much grandpa misses his favorite boy.  My poor, sweet, little boy got up from cuddling, looked at his dad and said, “let’s go lay down, dad”. Within minutes, this little boy, in the throes of grief, was fast asleep.

20150722_122453It’s taken all these months for him to acknowledge his grandma’s death but I’m proud of him for doing it at last, in his own time.  I wish, ever so much that I could take away his pain, that the hamster and the baby squirrel didn’t have to die to bring this about.  Whatever the case, you can’t change the past, you can’t change the future, but you can hold the present tightly in your arms and tell him how much you love him and how sorry you are that he has to know pain.

Time Travel Back and Forth

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Getting ready for a vacation can be stressful, but it’s also filled with the anticipation of good times and an escape from the everyday humdrum life we lead. At times I wish I could just blink and be there already, sort of an ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ moment. Other times I wish I could relive my past holidays but take my family with me. I guess I would need to have a ‘Back to the Future’ vacation for that to happen though.

If only I could meet Doc Brown and Marry McFly and travel through time in the DeLoreon, I think the first place I would go is back to the Ireland of my youth. The thing is, I’d would want my husband and kids to go there too. I loved those holidays more than anything. Sure, we worked on my grandparents farm, but it was good, honest work. I learned so much about the small farm and what it took to run it. I had a place there. I fed the chickens, helped with the milking of the cows, made haystacks, cooked, made butter, collected eggs, and washed clothes by hand. Honest, hard work. But it was fun! We were together with my cousins and my grandparents. I wish my children had that experience. Those were the years of 1970’s through 1985.

I would use that DeLoreon, van sized, of course, often just to visit the places I’ve been with my family as a child, but you know, I’d like to see the future too, just a little bit. I think I’d travel to 2036 to see what my kids are doing. By then they should be settled into careers and have families of their own. I will be 66, God willing, if all goes well and hope to be a grandma then. By then, my oldest 3 should be established in their careers–  one nurse, one doctor and one graphic or digital artist and my son will hopefully be an engineer if he keeps up that line of thinking and doesn’t change his mind 10 times along the way.

I want to see in this magical future, 20 years from now, if my house  is finally clean. Where do my kids live? Who have they married? Did they get married? 2 We’re my husband and I finally able to lose our flab and become healthier? What dogs do we have? Did my brother get married?

So many questions I never really thought of because I’m always thinking about today and the immediate future. It’s difficult for me to look past what’s happening now. I look to the past and think about the future but now, I believe I’ll think about it just a wee bit more. My kids are growing so fast.

This fall, 2 will be at university and I’ll just have 2 at home. That concept blows my mind. Where did that time go? How did it go by so fast and when did I blink? I don’t remember blinking and telling them they could grow up. I’m proud of each of them though. They will do well I know as long as they follow they’re hearts. I don’t need a time machine for that.

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