May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Mom,

It's Mother's Day. It's been a wonderful day. This day used to be one I took for granted. Then, after you were gone, I hated it. Now I know what it means to be a mother and it fills me with great joy. But the sadness is still there too.

Sometimes I wonder how I can do it without you to guide the way.  Mixed with the joy of motherhood for me (and the joy is like none I've ever had), is always a sadness that you're not here to witness it, that you aren't here to be a grandmother to June and a model to me.

You'd be proud of me, though. I am a good mom, despite your poignant absence. That's not to say that I don't have moments when I feel tired or irritable or like I don't have the energy to get through another day with a headstrong girl who is way too much like her mother. There are moments when sadness overtakes the joy. But mostly these days with June have been some of the happiest of my life.

All the work you did has paid off in so many ways. You gave me so much in the 30 years I had with you, but nothing compares to the lessons I learned about how to be a good mother. It somehow got through to me, even without my knowing it.

I had no idea I would enjoy it so much. You were right. You always said you wanted 6 kids and while that was not to be, you gave everything to the three you had. I now understand that desire. While I in no way can imagine being a mom to that many, I get why you loved it so much and why a big family was so important to you.

I wish I'd done this earlier. Everyday I realize how lucky I was to have June when I did. Being an "older" mom has its advantages for sure, but had I known how much I would love it, I would have started a lot sooner. (I can see you saying "I told you so.") I would love to give June a sibling, but nature is not cooperating. I know you know how that feels. It's yet another thing I wish I could talk to you about.

June is such a special little girl. She is beautiful and bright and funny and curious about the world. She loves school and she is sensitive and emotional and when she kisses me on the cheek, there's nothing better.

I've told her about you--Grandma Marilyn. I've told her that you are no longer here, but that you are in our hearts and she repeats that to people. She loves looking at pictures of you, especially the one of you in your prom dress which she calls the "princess." I will continue to keep your memory alive so that she knows you existed. And I will always carry you in me so she will know you even though you're gone. She's like you in a lot of ways. You'd be happy to know that she loves dresses and dancing, princesses and weddings. She can't wait to take ballet classes when she turns 3. Sound familiar?

Today, as always, Mom, you are missed. You are my inspiration for how to be a mom. Happy Mother's Day.


1 comment:

  1. Joy this is so wonderful and sums it up perfectly! The only disadvantage that you have is that your mother made it look easy, this business of mothering! She was a whirlwind and so organized! I lack that gene myself but keep trying to get better. I channel my inner Marilyn every time I decorate for a holiday or plan a party. She came by it naturally from her mother and brothers and sisters. Everyone in our family loves an Ocasion to celebrate. On another note your Mom was an Uber shopper too. I remember babysitting while she went to the grocery store and she was back with a full weeks groceries in about 45 min? I was in awe and asked her secret. She just winked and said I don't mess around. She cooked on Sunday, Laundry on Tuesday,Wed got her hair done, etc. Got you kids to school, ballet ,football,tennis worked herself and did everything else and was in bed by 8:30pm. She had cookies and goodies baked and in the freezer to pull out for when company stopped by. Jars of home canned tomatoes in the pantry to whip up some sauce. I see a lot of your mother in you Joy after all you were raised by the best! Much Love cousin Gail