A Mother’s Day Without Your Mother Isn’t Just Another Day

Today (and the days leading up to today) has been an emotional roller coaster. I wasn’t expecting my first Mother’s Day without my mom to hurt so much. I received daily reminders from every store I’ve ever ordered anything online from (which if you know much about me, is a lot) that I can’t buy my mom gifts. A woman at the service center where I got my oil changed yesterday told me to give my mom a hug this weekend. She never could have known that I can’t. Today was the first day in a long time where I wasn’t sure I could muster the strength to get out of bed.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would write today. So much of my writing is driven by my mom’s life and death. Yet today, I can’t seem to find many words, let alone eloquent words. However, the words of other people gave me the strength I needed to get through today. So I decided to share a few of those.

I heard this song a few months after my mom passed. The lyrics make me feel like she’s wrapping me up in a hug.

Miss you so, I miss you so, and I’ll miss you ’til I’m old
I miss you so, I miss you so, but my fears will fade, I know
‘Cause it’s my heart that you helped to build
And your love is my compass still yeah
Love will fill the holes I got


We would listen to this on repeat in the car on family trips to the lake. It is guaranteed to come on when I shuffle my music when I’m feeling sad and missing my mom. Apparently angels have control over iTunes shuffle.

…she’d been a spectacular mom. I knew it as I was growing up, I knew it in the days that she was dying. I knew it now. And I knew that was something. That was a lot. I had plenty of friends who had moms who-no matter how long they lived-would never give them the all-encompassing love that my mother had given me. My mother considered that love hear greatest achievement. It was what she banked on when she understood that she was really going to die and die soon, the thing that made it just barely okay for her to leave me and Karen and Leif behind.

Cheryl Strayed, Wild

This was the last movie I saw with my mom. It was a book I started reading in waiting rooms. It was a book I finished reading after she died. Cheryl Strayed put into words everything I felt about my mom’s love.

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I saw this tweet last week. Comedian Patton Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara, died suddenly a few weeks ago. I’ve thought of these wise words of his 7 year old daughter often today.

So while on most days, I have lots of words for anyone willing to read or listen, today I have very few. I am forever thankful for the woman who gave me life and filled it with love, support, encouragement, and laughter. She made me brave and strong and independent (and a little bit sassy). She was my best friend and closest confidant. When I get so sad about life without her and I feel like a piece of me is missing, I remember how truly blessed I was to have a mom whose absence is felt so strongly. Thank you and I love you.

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