Grief does not change you...it reveals you.---John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
It is Mother's Day. This is not the first Mother's Day without her. It's the second. And as the oldest child who consistently believes she has control over the chaos that swirls around her, I have believed that I was over the awful speed bump of the first. I had squared my shoulders all week, prepared to meet today. I don't have children myself, so my Mother's Days have all orbited around my mom. Except that now they don't. And I can imagine what it would be like to be a planet (let's say Venus, because who hasn't wanted to be a goddess of love at some point in her life?) and the sun has just simply disappeared. The pull of gravity is still there--- the residue of star dust, but I don't know why I'm orbiting anymore... kind of like that cheesy 70s show "Lost in Space."
Most often, our moms are our first teachers. Mine was. I entered into a world of song, and my mom's big soprano voice filled that world. From it, I learned the do's and don'ts of living. I learned what it means to be a woman from my mom, and I learned from her mistakes, too. But since her death almost a year and a half ago, my mind boggles from the lessons I've realized. I was unprepared for those lessons. I didn't expect them. They shock me. They leave me breathless, at times.
So on this second Mother's Day without her, I have to share:
- Your mind IS a beautiful, gorgeous entity. You may not realize this until you fear losing it to disease. Spend some time decorating it and less time caring about the jelly doughnut you just ate.
- It's okay to be like your mom. There's also free will. You can choose to emulate the parts that you love and adore. None of us are saints.
- Do not wait. Don't do it. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Drink the sangria. Now.
- If you still have your mom, spend some time covertly watching her. Watch what makes her face light up. Watch what makes her sad. Ask her about herself. She's more than just a mom.
- If you've lost your mom, like me. Do some archaeological excavating through the family photos. Look for the old ones. Try to organize your memories. Appreciate.
- Take care of yourself. Go to the doctor appointments. MAKE THE DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS. It's a loving thing to do for your family. They will worry less.
- Think about your happiest times with her. What made them happy? If you could strip away all the stress of life with or without your mom, what happiness would be left?
- Age well. That means saying "F-you" to naysayers sometimes.
- Ask "Why not me?" more often. And just say "No" sometimes.
- Stand up straight and fill the space you take up with your vibrancy. Remember who you are.