i decided not to send my mother a card or flowers for mother's day. instead, i thought i'd write up a post. i think my mom appreciates my words more than anything else.
mothers are born. my mom is a strong woman who has sacrificed a significant portion of her life to take care of her family. as some of you may know from reading previous posts here, my parents first child and my only sibling, gina, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 8 and battled for 3.5 years before passing away in 1994. both of my parents, along with the rest of my family, were by gina's side through it all, but the one person who was there for every single moment of her fight was my mother.
as i get older and realize what real love is i am only beginning to understand what this must have been like for her (as well as my father). i'm sure my mom has heard here and there from various people that she is so strong and commend her for what she did and how she handled it, but i know i have never had that conversation with her and i think today is a good day and this is a good way to let her know that she deserves more than just a passing compliment on the ability to "move on" about something so difficult.
this post is not meant to be morbid or depressing. there are many parents out there who have lost a child - either when the child was very young or as an adult - and i'm sure days like today are very challenging for them to get through. i remember hearing my mom say that a parent never expects to outlive their children, nor do they want to.
so, in honor of my mom, and other moms out there who experienced the loss of their child/children, i want to wish you all an extra special mother's day because you've had to deal with the one situation no parent would ever want to experience in their lifetime. whether you have other children or not, you're still the mother of the child who passed away and that is still something to celebrate - even though it may feel strange because they are no longer with you physically - your connection to that life, however brief or long it was, deserves to be celebrated, remembered, and shared.
through everything my mom had to deal with when my sister was going through treatments and the aftermath of her death, my mom (and dad) tried their best to give me a rich childhood, full of opportunities to pursue my dreams. it wasn't easy and i will never pretend that it was - for me or for them - but i know my parents worry that maybe they didn't do something right or made mistakes. and when there's an event like what my family went through in the mix of normal family life - those concerns are magnified.
so my mother's day gift to you, mom, is to let you know that you did a good job and not to worry. i'm thankful for everything you helped me with through the years and i know you'll be there for me no matter what. more people should know your story and you shouldn't be afraid to share the experience you went through. other mothers out there who are dealing with similar situations are probably looking for a person like you to confide in, relate with, and feel like they are not alone. i hope you feel appreciated and respected for your experiences and the sacrifices you made - and continue to make. stepping back and thinking about what you went through as another human being - regardless that you're my mom - is moving and inspiring. don't underestimate what you've provided our family.
gina made you a mom. i'm probably making you crazy. but, at the end of the day, you will always be the mother of two. happy mother's day.