I was dreading yesterday. Initially, I made plans to avoid church. The thing is, every year my husband does this thing where he has all the mothers stand so he can do a special prayer for them. And it was hard enough before not knowing if I should stand or not. I usually didn’t, just because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself (and since I usually sit up front, it’s a little hard to not be noticed). But this year he did something different. He started by asking all of those who have lost mothers to stand. It was a lot of people, more than I would have expected. He prayed for them, then asked the women who have lost children to stand, and prayed for us. Finally, he told us to keep standing, and asked all the mothers to stand. It helped me figure out what to do in that situation. Somehow that little thing made the day a little easier. I don’t know how it was for all of those who lost mothers, but I’m sure it had to help to have their grief acknowledged on a day like that.
The rest of the day was fine, mostly time with family. I admit that I spent more time playing Angry Birds than I probably should have, but sometimes it’s just easier than thinking about my loss. Yesterday was one of those days that I needed to stay numb. I hope I didn’t hurt my own mother’s feelings, but I am sure she understands.
When I did allow myself to think back on last year, it was calmly. I remembered how special it was to spend the whole day with Samantha. We left the hospital to eat lunch, but otherwise I was with her, holding her and enjoying being a mom. It was the last “good” day of her illness, in my memory. After that we went to HealthBridge, which I hated, and then… Well, you know how the story ends.
Mother’s Day will be tied to my memories of her, just like Holy Week. I think it’s just the nature of grief. The holidays are the hardest, and the best, and the most filled with memories. Whether you spent years with a person or merely a few months, those holidays are significant. And that’s ok. It’s good to remember. It’s good to be sad. And it’s good to look back with peace, and look forward to joy.