This was the first Mother’s Day without my mother. I tripped when I wandered by mistake into the grocery aisle with all the cards, the candy, the flowers, but I soldiered on and browsed at all the pretty things, knowing some other Mommy would be enjoying all those little trinkets.
I always bought childish cards for my mom though I haven’t been one in a long, long time. She would get a kick out of my nonsense. She would giggle and show it off over and over. “Aye, que muchacha.”
These last few years I stopped buying her presents and enclosed money, cold hard cash, into her envelope. We never said it out loud, but we both knew she wouldn’t live to see things wear out, so why not spend it NOW, since she couldn’t take it with her? I also learned my lesson the year I spent hours and hours (and a big chunk of change) selecting a present only to find it on her sales table at a garage sale two months later. We laughed about that and her audacity at trying to sell it back to me “for a price.” “Te lo doy barato.”
I loved my mom. I miss her, but I do not wish her back. She is where she needs to be, and I am here. She is at rest and enjoying glory.
My loss does not keep me from celebrating Mother’s Day. Almost every woman I know has been a mom or a parent or a caregiver at some point in their lives, so why not enjoy the day, besides I don’t really believe in waiting to tell folks how much we love them on only one designated day of the year.
You see, my mom and I did it right. We fought with each other, yet afterwards, we asked each other’s forgiveness and made up. There were times we hurt or disappointed each other, but yet again, we asked for forgiveness and made up. She wasn’t perfect and neither am I, but she was my mother, my strongest ally, my truest friend.
On the day before she passed away, she asked us to honor her DNR. She also asked us to celebrate her life, so we made sure to do what she asked. “Gracias, hija.”
The day she died was our last Mother’s Day. She was a strong woman and taught us to be strong, so we said our goodbyes like the grown women we are.