Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Mother's Day... Without my Mom

My Mom with former Baltimore Mayor & State's Attorney Kurt Schmoke 

I haven't shared much here recently. While the whirlwind of my life has slowed some, most days I find myself pushing through, working through fatigue and grief.

I haven't even spoken about the upheaval in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. My hometown that I still love deeply. I've watched lots of footage. I've had several conversations. I have many, many thoughts. 

I just haven't felt led to write about it.

And yet life goes on...

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I'm finding myself experiencing a mixture of emotions. I'm happy to be a Mom. So blessed to have four beautiful, healthy children. Children that amaze me with their multiple gifts and talents. Children that make me laugh until my side hurts. Children that also drive me crazy - almost literally. 

Children that God saw fit to bless me with through the miracle of birth and the wonder of adoption. My children make me grateful for Mother's Day. 

I have lived Psalm 113:9... "He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD!"

Yet... I'm also feeling the sadness of having lost my Mom on January 10 of this year, exactly three weeks to the day after I'd lost my Dad. My Mom was an amazing woman. I shared a little about that here in my last post.

Losing my Mom has set me up for a series of "firsts". My first Easter without her. My first child's high school graduation without her. My first Mother's Day without her.

I debated sharing my heart on this, since I knew I'd risk being a "Debbie Downer" on such a beautiful holiday weekend. But then I read something in Essence Magazine yesterday that made me want to tell this story. To share the downside of holidays that those of us who have lost loved ones experience, especially in the first year of loss. 

When I read an article featuring singer/entertainer Kelly Rowland (formerly of girl-group Destiny's Child), I felt I needed to share. Kelly's mother passed away unexpectedly of cardiac arrest last December. Kelly had recently begun a family and had welcomed her first child, son Titan, the month before her mother's death.

Her words:
"When you lose a parent, you're always getting over it, because you spent so long with somebody and then they're no longer there. I woke up the other morning and I was on my way to the gym. I picked up my phone to call her and I was like, Oh my God, I can't talk to my mom."
In my last post I shared about feeling this same way. So many times I've seen something, heard something, felt something, and thought Wait 'til I tell Mom. 

I even thought about how she would feel about her beloved Baltimore, and the recent turmoil the city has experienced. We would have talked about Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who attended Western High School with me many moons ago and also attended my parents' church, Douglas Memorial Community Church. We would have talked about the riots. We would have talked about a possible precedence being set by Baltimore City's State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby when she indicted all six officers implicated in the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. 

But I said I wasn't going to write about it, didn't I? Maybe I need my Mom's weigh-in before I write. Maybe it's not as interesting to write when I haven't gotten her perspective. 

I don't know, but one thing I do know... I miss my Mom like crazy.

This Mother's Day, please remember those of us mourning our moms in your prayers. And... remember what a blessing your Mom is in your life. Make sure you tell her. Love her well. She might not get it all right all the time. But neither do we.

And if you're a Mom, thank God for the life He's blessed you with. This exhilarating, exhausting life of mommyhood. Being a Mom is a gift from God. May we cherish it as so.

And... allow yourself to be pampered. After all, you're a Mama. You deserve it!

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