Cherish your mother while you’re still lucky to have her

One sleepless night in May, feeling anxious about Mother’s Day, I decided to pen my thoughts about what this day feels like to someone who has lost his/her Mother.  I emailed my piece to the editor of the POST newspaper the next morning for consideration for publication in the Mother’s Day edition.  A few days later a staff member replied, requesting a picture of my Mum and I. When I received a copy of the paper on 6th May, I was taken aback to see our picture on the front page. My first thought was “Mummy is going to be so upset !”  (she hated the limelight). The response to my story was overwhelming, to say the least.  I spent the better part of the next 2-3 days reading and replying to messages from friends and relatives who read my story. I was inundated with feedback from strangers who were in a similar unfortunate situation and could relate to my sentiments.  Some of those strangers have become my friends, and we now walk this painful journey together, supporting each other every step of the way. 


POST – 6th May 2020

Life can be so fickle.  One year you are eagerly making plans for Mother’s Day, the following year you are dreading the day.  There’s a misconception that the “first” of every special occasion without a loved one is the most difficult. This will be my second Mother’s Day without my Mum and it really isn’t much easier than the first.  I recall the days when listening to songs dedicated to Mothers gave me that “warm, fuzzy feeling” inside.  These days the same songs make me switch off the radio. The weeks preceding Mother’s Day can be quite unnerving with the influx of adverts constantly reminding children to “spoil Mum”.  To me though, it serves as a painful and cruel reminder that I no longer have my Mum here to spoil. 
No matter how old you are, the death of your Mother is an excruciating pain. But the intensity of this great loss won’t be felt on the day of her passing, perhaps not even at her funeral. Reality only hits home when you begin the difficult adjustment of living in this world without the very person who brought you into the world. Suddenly you have to navigate life without her who gave your life direction.
Being an only daughter meant that my Mother and I shared a very close bond. She was my confidante and best friend; the greatest female influence in my life. I naively believed that my Mother was invincible or, in the least, will be around for a long time to come. My Mum’s passing was a brutal lesson of how uncertain life can be. I wish God chose to teach me this lesson in another way.  Although I’m fortunate to have many happy memories with my Mum, my heart sinks each time I think of the memorable moments yet to come, of my future milestones and achievements that she won’t be here to celebrate.  Losing her made me realize how much I took for granted. I so often crave something, anything cooked by my Mummy.  Sadly, I will never again enjoy a meal lovingly prepared by her. When I’m unwell, she’s not here to nurse me with her home remedies and massages, like only a Mother can. There really is magic in a Mother’s touch that somehow makes everything seem better.  My Mum was always the first person I shared good news with and whose advice and opinions I valued the most. She left a void that nobody could ever fill. 

If you are one of the fortunate ones who still has your Mother in your life, please don’t take her for granted. Never miss any chance to expres your love and appreciation. She doesn’t really care about presents. Your presence is her greatest gift. Take lots of pictures of her. Crazy pictures, fun pictures of your Mum at her happiest and random pictures of her just being herself.  Believe me, someday these pictures will be your greatest source of comfort. Make time in your busy schedule to spend with your Mother.  Talk to her and get to know her better and on a deeper level. If you live away from her, try and make an effort to visit her more often.  Spare a thought for those of us who go to sleep every evening hoping our Mother will visit us in our dreams.
If your relationship with your Mother is strained, be the virtuous person she raised you to be and let go of any bitterness and resentment you may feel towards her. Don’t begrudge her for her shortcomings. She’s not perfect but then again, neither are you. Throughout your life, she has overlooked all your flaws. Now it’s time for you to overlook hers. 
Your Mother is God’s gift to you. A gift that you, unfortunately will not get to keep forever. A day will come when God will reclaim this gift from you.

Treasure the gift of your Mother’s presence before destiny has you living with her absence.