A Reason to Celebrate
As Mother’s Day approaches, I can hear my negative self-talk surrounding his death becoming louder, and I struggle to make sense of celebrating the day when it feels so closely tied to what I perceive as my greatest failure. Yet, when Tom died, many shared with me stories of his kindness and service – inviting a bullied student to join him for lunch, helping a teacher clean up her room every day at the end of the school day without being asked, buying a pop for a friend and sitting under a tree and chatting, just to name a few. In his last year of life, he bottle-fed three kittens with tenderness and patience unexpected from a 15-year-old. Many have shared with me how his humor, thoughtfulness, and listening skills provided light in their lives. So in his life, he lived with compassion for others, which means I must have done something right. (Not to take full credit, of course, as Tom was surrounded by family members who loved him and helped raise him.)
As I look towards this second Mother’s Day without Tom, I dread what the day will bring. Even though our surviving son, Tim, will acknowledge the occasion in his own way, it will not be enough, because my mini-me is no longer a tangible presence in my life. How sad for both of us that this day feels forever changed and is no longer a day of celebration but a day of regret and pain. So I must choose to look at Mother’s Day in a different way as I move forward.