The Pain That Will Not Go


When I open my personal email inbox, I am usually overwhelmed with invitations to shop from the many retailers whose offerings I browse online. The solicitations are filtered into one folder. I have been known to simply open that folder and hit “delete all” but in recent weeks, something has stopped me. I keep getting similar emails sent by everyone from small boutique owners to big-box store marketing departments, letting me know I can opt out of their Mother’s Day promotions. So far, I have deleted them all; but the sentiment gives me pause.

This will be my fifth Mother’s Day without my mom. She died suddenly in June 2018. She lived in Baton Rouge, LA so we had spent that last Mother’s Day as we typically did – apart. Had I known I would never get another chance to spend the day with her, I probably would have flown home to see mom, and made it a big celebration. Instead, I figured, “Maybe next year.”

The first Mother’s Day after mom died was an agony I would not wish on my worst enemy. First of all, it is not just one day; it is an entire shopping season. For that reason, I am grateful for the new “opt out” trend retailers are jumping on. I only wish that missing a few of those emails would take the pain away.  If I thought that would work, I would have opted into opting out.

Surprisingly, what helps me most on Mother’s Day, and really on any day I find myself steeping in the heartache of losing her, is seeing other people appreciate the mothers they still have.

I would love to say that I appreciated every moment I had with mom, but that would not be true. There were times when I did not want to answer the phone because I was sure I was going to get an “obituary update.” Funny – I would give my front teeth to go through the whole, “Didn’t you know…?” whomever happened to land in the obituaries that day.

Moms can drive us crazy, but there is no one on Earth who loves us quite like they do. J.K Rowling said, “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

Those words are a comfort, but I would still rather that protection was only a few states away on any given day, there to answer my calls. No matter how annoying or crazy I ever was, my mom always answered the phone. No matter what I said or did, she always loved me, and in a way no one else ever has or could.

That’s why, as one internet quote I found explains it, being without that love is so incredibly hard. “My heart still aches in sadness and secret tears still flow; what it meant to lose you, no one will ever know.”

If your mother is still living, treasure her. See her. Talk to her. Answer her calls. Love her. Do it every day – not just on the second Sunday in May.


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