Missing my mom on Mother's Day!
Although Mother’s Day may be celebrated on different dates around the world, the sentiment is always the same. Mothers are a special gift. Traditions vary by culture and family, but they almost always involve special meals and gifts.
Our tradition is simple yet perfect. On Mothers’s Day we all flock to my mom’s house. My family, my sister’s family, my brother, and his girlfriend all gather to spend time with her. My mother is not one to have people make a fuss over her, and we respect that. However, we still shower her with cards, gifts, and most importantly our love! My brother barbecues for her or she gets her favorite fried chicken. There is no fancy dinner or high priced gifts, just the love of a family for its matriarch.
This year Mother’s Day looks different for most people. Sadly, many people have had to say goodbye to their mothers this past year. For others, Covid-19 might keep them from seeing their moms. Fortunately for me, my mother is still with us, but I’m still very sad that we won’t get to gather around her this year. My mother is immunocompromised. Two years ago she suffered a stroke. This turn of events turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because of her stroke, we found out she had stage one non-small cell carcinoma of the lung. They discovered it very early and thanks to radiation she is beating it. However, between this and her emphysema, she is too high risk for us to visit.
Even as an adult, part of me believed that she was invincible. Her cancer diagnosis threw me into a reality I really wasn’t ready for. The reality that she is getting older and won’t be here forever. This was a harsh pill for me to swallow. One of the hardest things for me to accept was that she had signed a DNR. I understood why, however, my heart was broken. Over the months following her diagnosis, my sister and I attended most of her appointments. Often I would fill out her Medical History forms for her. One day I filled out the forms, checking off all of her procedures and diagnoses. I realized how much my mother’s small 4-foot, eleven-inch body had endured over the years. At that moment I resolved that I could not expect her to undergo any more procedures if she did not want to. She had been through so much in her life. I knew that while it broke my heart; I had to accept her decisions.
Like so many others, Covid-19 is stealing days with my mom that I will never get back. I know that I am lucky that I can still call her for Mother’s Day, but I will miss the physical contact and seeing her face. No matter how much I miss her, I am not willing to sacrifice her health, so we will celebrate Mother’s Day from a distance. I will do my best to make sure my mother knows how grateful I am for all the times she fought for me, for making sure I had what I needed, and for all of the life lessons she taught in me. I am a better person because of her. The one thing I know for sure is that if I can be half the mom she is, my kids will be okay.