This is the eighth Mother’s Day I celebrate without my mom. I still miss her as much as I did that first Mother’s Day without her, although the raw pain has turned into bittersweet memories. Holidays and other celebrations haven’t meant as much to me since my mom died. There is a feeling of emptiness without her. It’s the place that she once filled. A place no one else can fill.
Today I look at Mother’s Day as a celebration of my two kids. On Friday, each of them came home with a piece of paper proclaiming them to be a star. I am so proud, since they were seen as stars by someone else other than me or their family. My daughter was picked as Star Student of the week for this coming week. She told me that the teacher gave it to her because she could see how hard Nicole has worked for it. Later that evening, my son texted me from his yearly band banquet. He was given the President’s Shining Star Award for outstanding achievement. My daughter was thrilled. My son was shocked. I am proud of both of them.
My kids are so different in their personalities. My son has always been quiet and shy, while I say my daughter has a “shot out of a cannon personality,” always talking. But deep inside they share the same traits. They are both respectful and caring of others. They both try their best and do well in school. Every day and night they both still tell me that they love me. We spend time together as a family and we laugh.
At almost 17, my son is a very dependable person. I call him my rock. When my husband had triple bypass surgery in March and I left my kids home alone for hours, I didn’t worry about them because I knew my son would take care of his sister. In a little over a year, Matt will leave for Marine boot camp and from there I have no idea where he will end up. My heart aches at the thought of not seeing him every day, but I am proud of the choices he is making in life.
At nearly 10, I’ve watched my daughter mature, especially over the past year. She’s not my little girl anymore. But she is still warm and outgoing, and because of this, I call her my sunshine. Her head is full of ideas and her heart is filled with love. These next few years should be interesting as she continues to mature and begins making more and more important decisions about her life and the direction it takes.
Being a mom isn’t easy. I’m sure most moms will say that. There is no book for how to raise your own kid, and they aren’t born with an instruction manual for when things go wrong. I do my best, and no matter what happens, both my kids know that I love them unconditionally. I can’t tell you how many times in the past seven and a half years I’ve longed to talk to my mom about something one of my kids either did or didn’t do. If she were here, I would have asked for her advice, but I might not have taken it, as our parenting styles are different. But even though I may not have followed my mom’s advice, I wish I had the ability or option to ask for it. It’s not easy being a motherless mom.
On this Mother’s Day, I say I miss you, Mom, and I love you. You are always in my heart and never far from my thoughts. To my kids, I am very proud of you, my two stars. You fill my heart with happiness and love, and both mean the world to me. To all the moms who read my blog, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.