VOICES: Remembering moms who have passed



On a recent trip to the grocery store, I made my way to the greeting card section in search for some Mother’s Day cards. I love many young moms I wish to celebrate, but the search for just the right card was somewhat nostalgic. I couldn’t help but feel the pang of loss for my own mom.

Missing her never gets easier despite the fact she’s been gone several years. I felt a bittersweet veil drape over my heart. On the forefront of my mind was a much younger friend who recently lost her mom. Navigating that first Mother’s Day without your mom feels especially acute.

Perusing the messages reminded me of the all-encompassing, all-embracing, and all-inclusive qualities inherent in motherhood. I smiled reading the universal sentiments.

“Thanks for putting up with me….,” one card said. I remember when my siblings and I tested my mom’s patience after a fatiguing day of managing family with work.

“Words are never enough to thank you for all you do…,” was another message framed by a bouquet of roses. I thought of the times my mom made me hot tea with lemon and honey in hopes it would make me feel better. It usually did.

“You are my role model…,” another said. I evoked the bedtime stories I would tell my children. They were the same stories that put me to sleep so many years ago. “Pick a color,” my mom would begin. Now, two generations later, bedtime routine with my grandchildren begins with, “Pick a color..”

“Thanks, Mom, for the brightness you bring to the world….,” was written in script flanked by a rainbow. I remember my mom’s last years, weakened in body but still delighted by a cloud filled sky.

I think of my mom every day. Scanning greeting card messages for Mother’s Day is like a trip down memory lane. I recall the vast impact my mom had on me. Still, after all these years, I sometimes reach for the phone thinking I should call and check in. Her excitement upon hearing my voice was palpable every time. She made me feel like I was the most important person alive.

For those of us who have lost our moms, Mother’s Day can be tough, especially when the tears of grief have barely dried. We belong to a unique club. We understand the emptiness. There is after all, no one else like your mother.

I never did find the right card for my young friend. There just didn’t seem to be a message that felt pointed enough to match what I can only guess is a re-broken heart. It will be a tough week ahead. I hope she’ll be comforted by sweet memories that flood her mind when thinking of her mom. Love endures, and just maybe, smiles just might soothe and heal her forever longing.

My mom used to have a small, etched granite plaque by her bed with the quote, “In the quiet moments of the day, I think of you.” She kept it there as a reminder of the continuous flow of love she felt from those she lost. For me, and for many of you who’ve lost your mom, I am sure there will be many quiet moments this Mother’s Day. Indeed, a mom’s legacy rests between the beats of a grateful heart.

For my young friend, I hope she feels the enduring love of her mom. Despite the end of her worldly life, a mom never really leaves our heart space. For all of you who miss your mom this Mother’s Day, I hope you’ll relish in many quiet moments of lingering love that just might leave you smiling.

Anne Marie Romer of Centerville is author of the book “Just Give Me the Road.” Follow her on Instagram @romerannemarie. Her email address is romeranne319@gmail.com.

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