I used to dread Mother’s Day.
While most girls my age were making cards and picking flowers to give to their moms, I was visiting a cemetery. I only had a mom for thirteen years and then, she was gone. For the next ten years, Mother’s Day only reminded me of what I had lost.
Becoming a mother at age 23 provided welcome relief when May rolled around. I could focus on the wonder and joy of having a sweet baby girl who called me “momma”. By the time my nest was full of boys and girls, time had brought some healing. I didn’t dread Mother’s Day anymore.
Watching my own girls enter the world of motherhood has been a dream come true. All four of my daughters are grace-filled, loving mothers. They are my new role models, my kindred spirits, my best friends. Mother’s Day is now a celebration of life.
Today, I salute three other women who stepped into the dual roles of sister and mother years ago on my behalf. Fortunately I wasn’t left to navigate grief, dating and growing up all alone. Although they were dealing with their own feelings of loss, I was grounded by the love and care of my sister and two sisters-in-law.
I spent hours at Peggy’s house. She always had a project going that interested me and served as a good distraction. Sewing, making jam, planting a garden. I could walk across the road and find an inviting household that comforted me and lightened my loneliness.
Robin eased the pressure I suddenly felt of cooking meals and doing household chores. She brought over Mom’s sweet rolls and Mom’s apple slices and Mom’s Christmas cookies. She took me on a girl’s weekend to shop and talk about boys. Her influence kept me on the right track.
Barbie helped me find joy. She had a way of injecting fun into the mundane and taught me how to belch. She also gave me a Living Bible with verses marked that she knew I would need. Her prayers lifted me up.
My sisters filled the gap.
I so am grateful for this trio of sisters/moms/friends.
Happy Mother’s Day!
You already had the courage and strength and power within you to meet the challenges of living everyday without Mom. We just helped you find it. And by guiding you, we each found our own way through the grief. Many life lessons that Mom taught us became more clear and meaningful when she was gone. Missing her, but so thankful for the memories she left behind for us!
Thirteen years old is way too young . . . to figure out who you are and who you will be, without a mother; to know how to go about your day-to-day life, without a mother; to look at your future and wonder . . . without your mother’s hand to guide you. It was, sadly, way too young, but you figured it out, day by day and year after year to become an amazing woman and mother yourself. All the prayers that surrounded you were answered in wonderful ways. You are one Dynamic Dinah with a family your mom would be so heartfelt happy with. And you have her heart and soul forever. We are all so very thankful for that . . . because you share a part of her with each of us every day. Aunt Peggy