The Struggle When Your Mama Is In Heaven On Mother’s Day
It is no secret that the last 14 months or so have been a complete and total struggle. Today will be the second Mother’s Day I have spent without my Mama with me. It isn’t just me that has a difficult time though. My siblings, children, nieces and nephews and other people that looked to her as a parental figure also have a tough day. The thing about Mother’s Day when your Mama is in Heaven is strange to explain until you actually experience it; and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
There is something remarkable about a Mother’s love. Speaking as a Mama myself and a daughter it is one of the most unselfish relationships a person can experience. I can’t recall a single time that my Mama didn’t put other people first. It is one of the qualities that I admire most about her and it is also something that I try to replicate in my own life. (As a side note, this is not discounting a Father’s love at all. My Daddy is the best around and I plan on telling you all about him next month, probably much to his dismay.)
The Little Things
It is the little things that make you miss someone when they are gone. And it is different for everyone. There is no right way to grieve and anyone that tells you to get over it or move on, is wrong. At Mother’s Day, things are especially gut wrenching. I come from a super close knit family. We all live close to each other and see each other frequently. When my Mama was around, we always had some kind of cookout or meal to celebrate her. Even if we told her to let us cook for her, she was gonna make food and take on the majority of the work, because she liked to do it. And she was good at it.
To be perfectly honest, I can’t stand Mother’s Day anymore. It is a poignant reminder that my own Mama is not here with me. And while I know I will see her again some day, it still sucks to miss her so much. Seeing cards and flowers and celebrations is just something I have to get used to, but I am not convinced it will ever get any easier. That being said, my Mama taught me so much so I thought it would be meaningful to memorialize some of the things she taught me.
1. Prayer Helps Everything
There is a song that they always sing on Mother’s Day at the small church I was raised in called “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again”. When I was young, I never really understood it. But it has taken on a whole new meaning since 3/17/19. Both my parents shaped my values and morals. And my Mama was a wonderful Sunday school teacher. I watched her study and take notes. And I listened to her teach on more Sunday mornings than I can count. And what I wouldn’t give to listen to her pray once more. She taught me that prayer is the best answer for everything. And when I would call her upset she would always say, “I am gonna pray about it,” and I know she did.
2. Don’t Let Anyone Make You Feel Bad For What You Believe
Strong opinions run in my family. I remember when I was a teenager and we would be talking about things, it would often times get heated. Sometimes visitors would say, “Wow, y’all are really arguing!”, to which we would all respond, “No, we are just discussing things”. No matter what our beliefs, we debated and defended our stance. My Mama would jump right in and debate with us too. She always had a civil conversation when she did not agree with her, but she always told me: “Believe what you know is right in YOUR heart, and don’t let people try to cram their opinions down your throat.” I love that about her and I think all of her children, are blessed to be strong headed in their beliefs, even if they differ.
3. Learn How To Cook
Anyone that has been around the blog or me, knows that my Mama was famous for her cooking. She could make anything taste amazing. I have come close to perfecting some of her dishes, but not all. But I am so grateful that she taught my sister and me how to cook. Even my brother is pretty good at it, but my sister-in-law is better. Haha! There is a comfort in cooking for me. It is therapeutic in a way to plan a big meal, get all the ingredients and create dishes that are aligned with traditions. And it makes me feel close to her to cook some of her dishes everyone loved.
4. Retail Therapy + Chocolate Can Change Your Attitude
Mama was a huge shopper. She loved to go to Belk and pick out clothes for herself. But she also was always looking for other people. She would bring things for me that she found that I might like, or clothes and shoes for the grandkids. It did not matter as long as it was cute and a good deal. My sister says she was her personal shopper, and it is an accurate statement. She would go all over helping me find things. When Morgan was looking for a prom dress, she went with us to Charlotte and got her to try on a hundred dresses. But it was so much fun and a memory that will be with us forever.
If you were having a bad day, she would bring you chocolate. I remember a few years ago when I had an especially terrible and stressful day, she brought me a bag of chocolate popcorn and told me to open it, eat the whole bag, watch tv and forget about everything for a while. Every time I have a bad day and reach for chocolate I think of her.
5. A Mother’s Love Isn’t Selfish
Perhaps the most important lesson that my Mama taught me, is that being a Mom isn’t for the selfish person. Most anyone can have a child, but not everyone puts their child first. That is what makes a true Mother to me. Mama always put others first. She was the epitome of selfless. If anyone called and needed something she took care of it. She cooked meals for others and made sure they had things if they were in need. Mama would babysit for all of her grandchildren, cook for them and spoil them. She taught them all about good television like the Waltons and Little House on The Prairie. And she took care of her Mama without a thought of herself and if she needed a break. She never complained.
If your Mom is still alive and well today, I hope that you take the time to reflect on how much she means to you and that you tell her. Even if you don’t always see eye to eye, you should make a point to appreciate the things she has done for you. Write down all the things she has taught you and write down the memories. They truly are precious memories and something that sustain you after someone is no longer here.
This morning, I sent my sister a text to tell her Happy Mother’s Day, and she replied and said “we learned from the best”, and truer words have never been spoken. I hope and pray I can be even half of the Mama to my children that my own Mama was to me. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you.