Just a thought… Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. [Maya Angelou]
What wonderful things will happen today? That’s the question with which I start every morning: I ask Rob to tell me something good (he always opens his email first) or I ask myself what wonderful thing will happen today.
Yesterday’s wonder was a lovely bike ride with friends on a perfect day, a visit to Lauren’s bench near willow trees and a duck pond in Sidney and your notes that the C on the goalie keychain I found Monday was, of course, Colin. (Or, y’know, Calgary…LOL.) I needed that. Oh, and then Joanne K. sent me this picture, which was also pretty cool, of a store window in Oakville.
It made me feel not so awkward about going into famed Bolen Books in Victoria and gently asking why my book wasn’t on the Bestsellers table at the entrance. (The nice lady said she’d ask about that.) It’s so not like me to do something like that where I could look ridiculous, but if I don’t ask them to put out my book, who’s going to? Stephen King?
I can tell you something pretty awesome that happened on Monday evening, too: I was invited into a home via FaceTime and got to spend an hour with a book club. Organized by AM740’s Samantha Houston, the ladies sat, enjoyed snacks and wine and listened to me talk about the book. I was also gently peppered with questions. One of them had to do with why I viewed Mother’s Day the way I did in the book. I can say “viewed” now in the past tense, because they’ve changed my opinion.
In Mourning Has Broken, I wrote: “Now, though, May is a month so rife with razor-edged memories – not to mention the full weight of Mother’s Day, whatever that is supposed to be to me now – that it brings more sadness than hope. But I do believe it will get easier.”
Between the day that I wrote those sentences and today, I can tell you that it has gotten easier. And let me tell you how.
Jerry Howarth, recently retired Blue Jays’ radio broadcaster and fellow author (his Hello Friends: Stories From My Life & Blue Jays Baseball has been spotted alongside mine on bestseller lists and store shelves), has written to me every day in May with a remembrance from my book or a question that applies to Lauren. What was her favourite song? What made her laugh? What’s the funniest thing she did? Things like that.
It’s a funny and caring thing to do and I adore Jerry for lightening this week leading up to May 11 and Mother’s Day. So that’s one way things have gotten easier (even though I’m not sure I would have dug into these memories of Lauren had he not asked).
The other is in talking to that small group of deeply caring, funny and interesting women on Monday night. I was basically schooled in why I AM still a Mother, why I shouldn’t resent those well-meaning “I just nominated YOU for World’s Best Mom” memes that spread over Facebook at this time of year, why I shouldn’t ask who I am now.
I am still a mom. Lauren’s mom. Even though I know I carried, gave birth to and raised this amazing person, I questioned whether you can still wear the name after the only person who ever called you “Mom” is gone. As one of the women pointed out, her mom has died, but she still considers herself a daughter. Well, that gave me pause – big time.
This year, thanks to that boisterous and heart-filled discussion on Monday, I’m approaching Mother’s Day, not with the heaviness I’ve felt for the past three years (she died the day after Mother’s Day in 2015), but hopefully – hopefully – with a feeling of celebration: for what Rob and I accomplished together, for the person that Lauren turned out to be, for the mother that she was in the brief seven months she had, and for the mother that Colin now has. We are grateful and it is that attitude of gratitude, that “reclaiming joy” of which I write, that we will aim our hearts towards this Sunday.
I’ve even told Rob he may be on the hook for a Mother’s Day gift – oh, that made HIS day, I’ll tell you! LOL
Luckily for him, I happened to write this article for Walmart, which is online today. Maybe you can pass on a few hints, too.
Have a good one and I’ll be back with you here tomorrow.