This year is my first Mother’s Day without my mama. I have to say that the closer we get to Sunday, the more emotional I feel. See, it isn’t just her not being here physically for Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day was the last time that I saw my mom alive and laughing. Josh bar-b-que’d a brisket for her (by request) and the whole family came over. We laughed and joked, the kids played at her feet, she held her youngest grand babies and great-grand babies, my kids all piled in the recliner with her and I took the last photo that I have of her. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her hair done or makeup on, so I can’t post it here because I know her spirit will appear to pinch my toes like she promised! I wish that we knew that it was our last visit, the last time my babies would see her alive. I wish I had known! Had I known, I would have had my babies hug her a little harder and love on her a little longer.
Grief is a funny roller coaster. There is no way to prepare yourself for the after. The first year of firsts without them. The last few months, I’ve felt at peace. I’ve embraced my butterflies and my random pink flamingo sightings. Tonight, as I was stuck in TJ Maxx during a severe thunderstorm, it hit me! That damn roller coaster that I was climbing decided to go over the steep slope and turn me upside down. I broke down into tears because I didn’t get to buy a Mother’s Day card this year. I didn’t get to buy anything with the word mother on it, because my mama is in heaven. I was angry that I didn’t get to buy her a night gown this year, the one that I had to go to three or four different stores on opposite ends of town to find, because she only liked a certain cut that was almost impossible to locate. In the middle of the gift wrap aisle, it hit me that the last time that we were all together and happy was on this day last year.
Saturday will mark 11 months since she gained her wings. This weekend will be hard, but I will enjoy it with my babies. I will love up on them until they tell me to stop, and then love on them a little more. I will focus on making new memories and celebrating all the years that I had with her here on earth. And mom, If your spirit is looking over my shoulder as I’m writing this through tears, please send us a butterfly on Sunday and know that we will be celebrating you here on earth.