I lost my mom nine years ago, and it still hurts.
It feels like yesterday when I heard myself shriek in disbelief having learned that my biggest fan, staunchest supporter — my best friend in all the world — was gone. She died during heart surgery.
Although I was in my early 50s at the time, my mom’s passing left me feeling like an orphan. Suddenly, I had to navigate life feeling lonely, bewildered and, yes, afraid. After all, how was I supposed to go on without the woman who had been such an essential part of my being since my conception in her womb?
I was fortunate to have had a good mother. She taught me to that the best rewards come from an honest day’s work, and being resilient as well as compassionate, loving and thoughtful.
Yet, everyone wasn’t blessed to have a good mother. And, as a result there are a lot of broken people walking around: people who have never known a mother’s love. People who were born to a woman who lacked maternal instincts. People who were born to a woman just because it was the thing to do.
I can’t even begin to imagine a life with a mother who was dismissive or distant, mean and neglectful. A mother who never hugged nor praised her child. A mother who never spent one-on-one time with her child or who told them, “I love you.”
Children learn about love by the love they are shown, and that usually begins with the warm embrace of a doting mother. Having the love of a nurturing mother not only puts a song in the heart, it puts a smile in the soul.
My hope for those children — young and old — who perceive Mother’s Day as “just another day,” is that they find healing.
Many children who’ve had to maneuver life without a mother’s guidance learned to self-protect and handle sensitive responses to setbacks and disappointments on their own, when all the while they may have been in mourning for the mother they needed and deserved.
There is a great payoff for being a good mother: they get to see the child you’ve brought into the world make their own choices, succeed and even sometimes stumble — and they get to be a part of it.
My mother shared all this with me, and then some.
I had a good mother and, hopefully, I’ve been a good one myself.