Filling Big Shoes

MomMothers Day is tough every year — there’s just no way around it. I get a little pit in my stomach every spring when I see the ads starting, but I just know I need to take care of myself and do what feels best in order to deal. It gets easier every year. I used to feel a lot of resentment on Mothers Day, and feeling so negatively toward others just exacerbated the pain I was already feeling about not having a mom anymore. In more recent years, I’ve found it’s become a lot easier, and feels a lot better, to embrace the day — to celebrate, instead of mourn. Easier said than done, I know – I’m not telling anyone else how to feel or how to respond to their own feelings. No one can help what naturally comes up for them, emotionally. It does help, though, when others around me show that they remember that not everyone has a mom, or has a great relationship with theirs.

I am lucky to have known my mom for 21 years, and now that she’s gone, it’s not gone unnoticed by me that I’ve got a bunch of bad ass ladies in my life filling in for some of her job duties. I wrote an essay about it for HelloGiggles, and it ran the morning of Mothers Day.

Outside of those special women, I am a little weird about my friends’ moms, but at least I know it. Luckily they don’t mind sharing their moms with me, or at least their mom stories, so I can live vicariously through them. I love Stef telling me about her mom binge-watching Parenthood and Friday Night Lights; I visited Becca’s mom when I was vacationing in Utah, because I felt like I knew her even though we’d never met. I’ve loved my roommates’ moms when they’ve visited, and I am even Facebook friends with some of them. I have been looking for moms in my life since mine passed away, and the fact that she was one-of-a-kind probably means I’ll always be a little bit looking. Whoever I marry someday better have a pretty amazing mother, that’s for sure. A potentially stand-offish mother-in-law might just be a deal breaker for me.

I don’t begrudge my friends having the relationships they do with their moms. If anything, it would probably be harder for me to hear about if they didn’t. But then again, everyone’s family is different and you don’t know what a relationship is really like unless you’re one of the parties involved. I support my friends no matter their level of closeness with their moms.

That said, if your mom is around, I hope you do have a good bond with her. If not, I hope you’ve found other people in your life who can offer you the support you need. I am really glad for those ones I’ve found along the way.

One thought on “Filling Big Shoes

  1. This is nice Meryl. Having a mother or not having one doesn’t fit into a neat little package, as you well know. There are so many idiosyncrasies and expectations with relationships – all of them – that it gets overwhelming sometimes comparing ourselves to others, having resentment or just being confused. I personally have dealt lately with absence of a mother who is alive and well. She just isn’t here for me. But I don’t make a lot of effort either. It’s hard. You’re blessed to have females with whom you’ve developed good relationships. Thinking of you and I always enjoy your stories.

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