Monday, October 27, 2014

A first UnMothered mothers' day.

NOTE:  I originally wrote this piece on Mother's Day, 2014.  I ended up not publishing it, because I felt it was more appropriate as a commemoration of this day, the first anniversary... so I have scheduled this to publish without my deliberate intervention on October 27, 2014, as I have no idea where I will be, emotionally or physically, six months from this writing.

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The best term I have yet found to describe what today feels like came, unexpectedly, from my elementary school violin teacher, thanks to the wonders of Facebook.  She shared an article in which the author described feeling "UnMothered" following the passing of her own mom, as opposed to being "motherless"-and I could very much relate to the emotional journey she described as I thought about my dance with grief over these past weeks. Months. The yet unexplored years...

I feel that October 27, the day my mama let go, will become in my heart "unmothering day"...the day we-my sister and I-said goodbye and moved into a realm where we exist without her physical presence. Not motherless, we still have the love and experience we gained from her, and always will-but we don't now. So while we were fortunate enough to have a wonderful, loving mother, we don't still have her in the present, making us, indeed, UnMothered. We don't have her there to wipe our faces (as Mike Rowe's mom reportedly still tries to do, in his lovely tribute to her this morning) or to call up to straighten out a bit of family lore or ask for advice on how best to complete some task, but we still-and will forever-still have all the lessons she taught us about being good people, and caring for ourselves and our loved ones fully, and how to occasionally embarrass ourselves in the name of living life. We will never be motherless. She will always be our mom. 

But today, for the first time on this day set aside for honoring moms, we are UnMothered.

I breathe in the absence, and then let it go, and breathe in the abundance I have, and try to balance my grief with my gratefulness. 

She gave me so much, and what's more, she taught me how to appreciate it.