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Monday, May 13, 2013

First Mother’s Day Without Dad

Article first published as First Mother’s Day Without Dad on Blogcritics.

In the past I have written about the difficulties of living through Mother’s Day without my mother. This is now my seventh Mother’s Day without Mom, and it is no easier than the first. I think about her, wish she were here, and try to celebrate the spirit of the day for my wife and children's sake; however, there is a noticeable heft in my heart.

When I went to the grave to place flowers there, for the first time I was also placing flowers on my father's grave. As to get the fact into my mind, I traced his newly engraved name on the tombstone with my fingers, and I realized, perhaps for the first time, that he really was gone now.

In the past years since Mom passed away, I always had Dad as a support on this day. After all, we were suffering the loss and got through the day together. That gave me an emotional crutch to lean on, and we would share our stories and it felt as if Mom were there with us. Now with Dad gone, those stories are exclusively mine now.

My sister’s stories are hers and they were shared with them too, but there are those things you share by yourself with your parents, and those get filed in the memory banks as moments no one else is familiar with. Therefore, things that I could have just mentioned to Dad that we three experienced would make him laugh, perhaps something Mom did or said in our presence. Now only I know these things, remember them, and I realize they are lost when I pass on.

I know I am not alone in this; everyone eventually loses his or her parents. Of course, this is a natural progression of things. Now I go on, share what I can with my children, and realize some things do not need to be transmitted. Now if I see something that I could only reference to my parents, I speak to their ethereal presence, and I know that they hear me. More than ever since my father passed on I feel an aura, some spiritual companionship that is fleeting but I know is there.

So on this Mother’s Day I will try to get through the day knowing Mom and dad are together but also with me. They are watching me with my children and wife, and this helps me appreciate what is happening now. One day I will join them when I pass on, and there will be so much catching up to do for me because I believe they will already know everything that happened here.

If you do have your mother in your life, I wish you and her well. I hope you can be together, but if not there are ways you can connect from far away. Do not let the day slip away because one day you will wish Mom was here and you’ll only be able to bring her flowers in the cemetery. Believe me when I say at that time you will feel empty and lost and just wish you could have her back to kiss on the cheek.

Now I must get through my first Mother’s Day without Dad. It’s harder than I thought, but I will get through the day thanks to my own kids. Yes, I know Father’s Day is the next hurdle, but I’ll face that when the time comes. I’m told it gets easier with time but that hasn’t happened for me yet, and I have my suspicions that it never will.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Well, said, Vic!
You articulate what many of us are already feeling. It is funny how, in some ways, after my mom died, I did feel close to me in a spiritual way. I know she was gone but, in one sense, she was not and I could sense she was watching out for me. I truly don't think this is all wishful thinking but rather what is true.