Hey Mom, I’m Getting Married | Six Years

It’s six years since we had to say goodbye. You’ve missed all of the parts I wish you could’ve seen. All those things you wished for me are coming true, and all the things I said I’d do, I did.

I like to think you haven’t missed them, but I miss you in them. We’re planning a wedding, and I keep looking for the part where I can stop and ask you what you think about menu choices, or where you think we can be socially correct with seating arrangements. Who are the people you’d insist were on the guest list, and who can I skip right past? Look, I know my own answers to those questions, but sometimes I want your view. I want to tussle with you over these things, and have you pull the pursed-lip, arm flung-over-head move on me. I miss fighting with you over the most stupid of things, and isn’t that just the most ridiculous thing to miss someone over?


So yes, Mom, I’m getting married. And it still feels weird that I am typing that, because it remains entirely surreal to me. Excitingly surreal, like I won a life lottery that I forgot I bought a ticket for.

So, instead of a list of things I have to discuss with you, all I have is a calendar reminder that on then 5th of June, you shuffled off. Not just shuffling off down the passage at 10pm, like you did for almost all the evenings I can remember, but you really, really shuffled off. It is a symbol of my lineage that I find that funny to contemplate. The thing is though, you never really shuffled, whether in life or in endings. No, you were always triumphant and bold with what you did, which served as your way to overcome everything internal or from life that sometimes expected you to feel small. You were a warrior, even in the quietest of fights, and my word, what a warrior you were. You are, still, it’s just that it’s the bodies and minds of the people beyond you that act it out. The courage and wisdom within the little-people-now-growing-bigger that live beyond you – that’s where your fire burns brightest still.

Six years seems so very long, but I swear it was just yesterday that I noticed your hair was turning blonde in the sunlight. Perhaps it was the magnitude of you that meant you were gone for just a moment – that you’re just in the next room – yet an entire six years can live in that moment. Time has still not faded you, and it never, ever could. That’s because you are indelible and undeniably here, somehow, in the little things. Whenever I say the word “indelible” I think of you, because you referenced the word so often in my memory. I guess that’s a significant word for me to remember when thinking of you.

As I wind back the time and look across the expanse of these years, I remember the things you said, the incredible things you did, beyond anything I can ever imagine (and some of the things I will probably never know about). I meander through the words of you, in my head and on paper, and as I look towards the future, I remember the possibilities of beginnings, and how they sometimes look like endings, at first. The ones you’d hoped for me, the ones you’d wished into life and the ones you grabbed with both hands at glee. All the ones you wished for me.

Mom, I’m not afraid to speak anymore, and when my voice shakes, I know it just means it’s even more important that I say it.

Hey mom, I’m getting married. I wish you were here for it.

I miss you forever. Adam For Nightum.




You can call me a woowoohead and that’s okay

She: “Mom I’m making a toy at school. It’s a project. I’m making a robot alien”

Me: “That’s so cool, babe. What are you going to call it?”

She: “424-424”.

Recently, my daughter’s been dreaming a lot about my mother. She has incredible grandparents on her dad’s side (the best!) and an amazing set of extended family. But, I’ve always mentally underplayed the role of my own parents in her life. Why? Because my dad wasn’t here for her growing up and my mother was only here for just under five years of it (thanks cancer, you really know how to mess up my folks’ plans of a dynasty… which they ended up having, but aren’t here to see it). 

I realise now that this is an error. Family ties aren’t based on time spent, but rather on connection. And the woowoohead part of me thinks that my daughter actually misses my mom, and my mom is, well, making herself evident.

These incidents were few and far between in the years after my mom’s death. We’d openly chat about my mom, her illness and her journey but I imagined that these conversations would fade over time. They did, for about a year but now, over the past few months, the opposite has occurred. As time has grown longer and my own ability to assimilate feeling like an orphan in the world has minimised, my daughter’s need for her maternal grandmother has grown.

Obviously, real life isn’t able to give her that, so it’s coming out in strange places — her dreams, her projects and, I imagine, her writing. She writes a lot, a lot more than you or I realise. I find it semi-comforting that she’s finding an avenue of peace through words, even if they’re little scrawls in notebooks or fantastic stories she pieces together. There’s a sanity to be found in that world that is peaceful, if you can get past the madness of word-mangling.

That is where my mother found her peace too, in the last years of her life. It’s where my father had found his for years. It’s where I find mine.

But somehow, no matter how much I write or create, or write towards them, I know I can’t bring them back to life. My daughter is, I think, reaching for them too, in her own particular way.

Is it grief that does this? Or is it acceptance? Either way, it is an avenue of healing that she is determined to integrate into her life (or it is being determined for her). I do know that my mother would, and could always, make herself heard. She would “speak the words” so that others would have to “hear the words”. Most of her life, she spoke them for the sake of someone else who did not have a voice.

Perhaps this is her, speaking them for herself. Speaking them to her granddaughter.

Five Years – Mom.

Dear Mom,

When a child turns five, their parents feel this strange sense of pride and longing. Like, five is a “whole hand” and the baby days are very over.

You see, mom, my daughter turned five just after you left us. And now, in a few short days, she’ll turn ten, which means your leaving has turned five. The baby days of your leaving are done. It’s time to grow up.

It seems like simple mathematics but it truly doesn’t communicate the amount of time that you’ve been gone. On some level, it still doesn’t feel real, but on every other plain of life, the void of where you used to be is wide and long.

We recently installed a dining room table into our house. I know, I know, you must be rolling your eyeballs at this, because “eating on your laps is for Philistines!” but, really, we did it for a long time and liked it that way.

Just last night, as we settled down to dinner round the table (side note – I absolutely understand why you loved doing it this way. Looking back, I’d have insisted less on TV dinners as a young kid). So we eat dinner, laugh about our days and then play this hilarious game of Charades. The noise is all familial chaos, and I can’t help but hear the cadence of our family dinners at the table. Where a food fight will happen or we’ll try and figure out the hell it was you cooked for us tonight. I hear that aura of dinners gone past, and see it in front of me, repeated like a chaotic love assembly.

But I’m not here to mourn you. I realised this last week, as I tried to hold the loss of you in my hands again. It used to weigh me down, and it still does. There is a relief in me though, as I feel assured of my ability to provide your legacy with continuance. I feel part of the chain, finally, on my own terms. That is what you wanted for me, after all.

This doesn’t make me miss you any less. It doesn’t make missing you any easier. It is, I know, part of the assimilation I’m supposed to go through. I feel a double grief, where I now think that I know of your going but – in the spirit you infused into me – I feel a tendency to want to not accept it. Acceptance isn’t something you or I could come to easily, but it is something we had thrust upon us, right? Haha.

Your first grandchild is now up to my eyebrows in height. In a year, she will have grown past my head. I mark the time of her life in comparison to you and Dad. Her tenth birthday symbolises the imminent decade of Dad being gone, and the same birthday marks your halfway mark to being gone a decade. I wonder sometimes, Mom, was that planned? I lost you and Dad at all these critical points in my child’s life. There’s an element of life’s cruelty in that, which I can probably never accept, but I have learnt to live with. There’s also an element of beauty in it, because sometimes the saddest things are the most striking. Her existence is evidence of the cycle of life, and how it is all tied back to you and Dad, so remarkably, is a constant reminder.


As I hold the loss of you in my hands again, for one more year, I feel compelled to celebrate you. Just as a raging rainstorm will wash away the dry dust that’s built up over time, I feel it is abating now. My anger at your loss is fading, but it’s replaced by indelible signs of your spirit and character as they play out in my life. Sometimes I look at my diary and see unmissable symbols and patterns of you, that leave me wondering – would I still see them so clearly if you were here?

Mom, you may no longer be at my table, or being “a nag” about something, but you taught me how to set that table for my own life and family, and “be a nag” about the right type of things. Thank you for that.

But Mom, I hope you’re free. I wish I knew for certain that you were liberated in the way you always wished to be. I can only hope to spy on your beyond-life dance in my dreams sometimes. I have no true symbols of what happiness you feel, except for the joy I feel in my own heart, in a moment where I know you would be happy if you were here.

The magnitude of you is not forgotten. The immense void of where you used to be, widens every day. But it’s not because you are lost to me – you are just woven into my every word, on this side of the void.

With my left arm flung over my head as I talk, I will miss you forever.


For UM. Because, birthday.

It’s your birthday. How funny-wonderful it would be for you, this year, because the wedding has been planned to fall just after your birthday. It was planned around your special day. I think you would’ve liked that. I wish you were here.


P said a funny thing the other night, how my kid is sounding more and more like me, every day. Yet, when she speaks, I don’t hear me. I hear you. Like an echo of a time gone by, you’re still audible, just that your voice ekes out from within a throat you don’t use.

I see you in her gawky elbows and the way she’ll do the ‘hand-thing’ when she sees something she likes. It’s impossible that she learnt that from you – you’d not done it in years after Dad died. So, really, mom, is that you in that there hand motion?

I see you in her long, craning neck as she peers into the kitchen and asks ‘what’s for dinner’.

I see you when she gets frustrated and that just makes her more determined to do something.

I see you in the funny little moments nobody else would see. Where they see me, I just see you.

I could go on and tell you how I wish you could see all of this. How I’d only-half-jokingly tell you to move in next door to us. The cats would’ve loved it. I would’ve loved it. You and I would’ve been irritated enough by our close proximity to absolutely love it.

But I can’t move you in next door, or festoon your birthday with cake and gifts. So, instead, I’ll stand outside in the twilight tonight, with a glass of red in my hand and toast you. I’ll keep your voice within mine as I help my brother’s wedding happen tomorrow. As I take my place at a table, ruffle the hair of my many, many nieces and squeeze the hand of my daughter, I take you with me.

And while my kid plays in the garden with the dog (oh you would’ve laughed at him) and her little big voice exclaims in glee, I’ll hear you, all of a sudden, not so far away from me.

Happy birthday Mum.


On Being Educated by My Kid

It’s a common enough thought that our children teach their parents more than parents actually teach their kids. I have to say that this is one truism that rings in my ears every day of our life.

Yes, my daughter has taught me more than I ever expected but, as she gets bigger and taller, I realise that this experience of being taught, rather than of being the teacher, is playing an even bigger role now. 

We live in a house of gadgets and gizmos. Being the type of family we are, the work we do and the hobbies we keep, we are great fans of getting a gadget to play with. Occasionally, I review items (and fall completely in love with them) but the ones we own for ourselves…sometimes take some getting used to.

Case in point – our television. This gargantuan screen has perplexed me since the day it arrived. Why? Because it takes ten years, a chicken dance and an appropriate sacrifice to the requisite television deity to turn it on. Note too, it does not have a simple on/off switch – it must be switched on using the very large remote.

So, every morning, for the past nearly 3 years that we’ve owned it, I have stood there, mumbling at it, furiously pressing the power button to get the screen to blaze its technicolour wonders at us. I could not understand why it always seemed to work for my kid so easily, yet – for me – seemed to be some kind of technological wizardry. 

Except, last week, when she looked at me quizzically and said:

“Mom, are you turning it on the right way?”

I snapped back: “Yes, of course. Do I look stupid?”

Which was when she gently took the remote out of my hand, pointed to the other button on the remote, swung the remote in the direction of the gargantuan screen, clicked it and…

Did you know? Our television can turn on in less than 3 seconds? 

All it took was a different button. 


Dear Time | Four Years

I wrote this about a month before my mum left us. I wrote it when we knew as a family that cancer was claiming her. It was my final roar at this disease, before I knew I’d have to say goodbye to her. You are never ready to, no matter what anyone says.

Cancer eventually took her on 05 June at about 5am. That was four years ago, today.

This year, I actively staved off writing this, because I didn’t feel like i had the words. Until this morning, when I realised I’d already written it, I just needed to address it to something else. If you read the link above, you’ll see what I mean. It’s a reworking of the above mentioned letter. Because I realise now that, even though cancer took my mom and my dad, it’s Time that tries to be the ultimate remover. And it fails.

Just like my mom would laugh about her years in Italy, or tell her stories about when she was a young ballet dancer…time didn’t fade those stories. The light in her eyes and the sparkle of those funny times would shine right through her, as I’d listen, entranced. Or when she’d talk of how I and my siblings were when we were babies, and she could accurately recollect the most precious of moments with us. When she’d throw her arm over her head and laugh “like a drain”, she’d say, the life in her eyes shone straight into the future. It still shines on us today.

Time does not fade her stories. Time does not fade my mother.
It turns out, Mum, you’re indelible after all. 


Dear Time,

You’ve stolen my mother from me for four years now. Just two weeks before her first grandchild turned five, you decided to stop her clock. Since then, that grandchild has grown and blossomed. And she’s turning nine in two weeks.

Dear Time, I don’t think you’ve quite met my family yet. You can remove my parents from the family dinners and the birthday parties, the celebrations and the lazy Sunday mornings, but you cannot steal my mother. You’ve not been able to steal our mother or father. And you never will.

You see, Time, you’re not the first thing that’s tried to break us. Trust me. You’re not the first entity that’s tried to eat away at the fibre that holds us together. You’re not the first thing we’ve had to confront. You’re most definitely not the first to try and scare us.

You see, my dad. My beloved, affectionately known as Dadadad. “They” tried to get him once, twice, a few times. He challenged them and he said “thanks for the extra hour”. Heh. Funny thing is, even when cancer came to get him, and you, Time, kept him from us, he got that extra hour.

He got it when he got to sit next to me whilst I was in labour, and again when he peered over my shoulder to look into the eyes of his first grandchild. He still gets it today when I look at my daughter’s hands and see his hand shape. I see him in the set of my brother’s chin and my sister’s eyes. I see him in my nieces. He still gets that extra hour when I look at my squiggly signature and the slant of my handwriting.

You see, my mom. “They” tried to steal everything from her. She worked, very hard, to help people who had their lives, their homes, their families stolen from them. And she won. She won through, every time.

When cancer came calling for her the first time, now eight years ago, she said “Take it. I don’t need my breast anymore. I have my children already”. She wrote cancer a letter of farewell and kicked it, right to the kerb. Cancer came again in 2010, and that time, it took her.

But, Time, you still haven’t stolen her. I can see her every time I look in the mirror.


Mum and Me
You see, Time, my siblings and I. We roll with the punches, take on our own life challenges and do it without fear of you. We know, because life has taught us, that time is the one thing we cannot recreate, but we do know we can enjoy it when it’s here.

Time, you can roll the years by. You can tick tock through the minutes, but you still cannot steal my mother.
Why is this? It’s simple. It is because she continues in spite of you.

She’s in the lilt of our voices and the framing of our thoughts. She’s in the difficult parts of life where I have to discern rubbish from truth, to understand a purpose…and she’s in the laughter we cackle out loud when someone makes a joke.
I was looking at my daughter’s feet the other night, as she grows and lengthens. As she blossoms into the big girl she is and, I see my mother in her feet. Elongated, high-arched and strong. I see those same feet on my nieces.
You see, Time, my mother continues in my child’s feet. My mother’s feet may not walk this planet anymore, but her grandchildren’s do.
So, dear Time. You can do your best, do your worst, whatever. But you cannot break the faith that runs in the blood of everyone who bears a significant resemblance to me. Life’s already tested it, numerous times, and lost. So, if it’s distance from the day we last held our mother you’re bringing, you still won’t steal her from us.

She is here, even when you try to put the years between us.


UM, I miss you at the dinner table, on the telephone and I miss you in the noise of life. I miss you in the quiet of a day, and I miss you in the coffee breaks. I miss you in the moments I am scared, and the moments I am not. I miss you right now as I write this, and I miss you so much, each time I wish for you. I wish for you on the good days, the bad days, the in betweens, the beginnings and the endings.

I miss you, but you are not gone from me.



A very special playlist.


Growing up, there were a variety of songs that stuck with me, that I hang on to, as they remind me of my folks. Specifically, though, I have a strong memory of why Vanessa Williams’ Save the Best for Last will always remind me of my mom.

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the songs that have woven themselves into my life with my daughter. Each of these ones have memories attached to them, and I love them for the way that I can, on any bad day, hit play on them and they will instantly bring a smile to her little face. Here are some of them:

Katy Perry’s Hot ‘n Cold.  Many, many years ago (feels like an entirely different lifetime ago), I got dumped. A friend of mine suggested this song to me as “therapeutic” and I adopted it as my “gotta do some housework and feel chipper” song. It, very quickly, took on a whole new meaning for me, as my kid and I would dance around the house, with our own specially engineered dance moves, and sing it at the top of our voices. It is now, and forever, the song that brought a smile to our faces, on a bad day.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. This one dates back to when she was an infant. I will admit, I was one of those “rock the baby to sleep, do whatever it takes, even if it takes an hour” type of moms. I did not let her “cry it out”; “self soothe” or anything like that. I was a ferociously devoted co-sleeper too, and, honestly, still am. I’d have her sleep next to me any day. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not exactly a great singer *understatement* and she, once, lifted her arm out of her swaddled blanket and clapped it over my mouth when I attempted to sing her a lullaby once. But there was always one song she’d let me sing, and this was it.


Another Bob Marley tune, Buffalo Soldier, was something she heard at playschool, and came home singing one night. I treasure the video I have of her, singing this like she was made for it.

When she was about three (which, guys, is the best-most-difficult-continuous-conversation-and-questions age), she decided she’d like to be a dancer. Again, I have a little home video of her singing this and waving her hands around in the air like she just didn’t care. Heh.

More recently, she had an awful day at school earlier this year. When she got home, I tucked her into my bed and spun up a few tunes that I thought would cheer her up. The one she loved the most that day? Katy Perry’s Firework. This is the song I will sing to her, every day, for the rest of her life, whenever she needs it.

And, I have left a few off this playlist but, I’ll end it off with the silliest song we enjoy. It’s during this song that we come up with the very funniest mondegreens and end up flailing about the place in giggles (ridiculous Canadian enunciation included).

Sweet child, I love the soundtrack to our life. You’re the best song that ever played.


Dear Mum,

You’d be seventy today. Seventy. That always seemed some weird, far off number when we’d laugh about it. You’d muse and say you’d be the cranky old woman in the corner with no teeth, gabbing on about something or other and demanding someone pour her a glass of wine.

Oh you have no idea how much I wish you were, right there, in the corner, annoying us all right now. We will mark the fourth year of you being gone this year and, mom, it’s gone so quickly. How did that go so quickly? Somehow the first day became the first month, became the first year, and it’s all just slipped into the ether.

I needed to tell you a few things. I think you’d be proud now. I did the things you told me to do, and – I know you’ll laugh at me – you were right. You told me to use my nose and follow through. I followed through. Every day, I follow through. There are a few challenges and strange obstacles that appear every now and again, and I do my usual freak-out-it-is-all-shit-i-am-terrible (“it’s shit, it’s all shit” hahahaha) dramatics, and then get on and get through it. I’m happy here, even when the work seems so much, and I feel frazzled and bitty. I’m happy. Really, I am. The one thing you hoped for me and I didn’t believe would be an actual, active reality.

C. You know mom, I don’t tell people this much, but she firmly maintains a strong bond to you. You come up in her conversations with me often, and she is adamant that you remain a strong part of her life. I like that. I endorse it. Completely. Did you know she has a picture of you on her bedroom wall? Sometimes, she talks as though you are just around the corner, and I am stunned by how well she knows you. Sometimes I will hear you in the lilt of her voice. Sometimes I’ll find you in her approach to something. She also does the funny hand-grabby thing you used to do when she gets excited about something. Sometimes when I look at her, I see Dad. A lot of the time though, I see you.

And, in there, sometimes I want to cry. But mostly it makes me smile. There in the strange genealogy of ours, your power is still coming through. Over years and through time, you’re still there.

I want to yell at the sky so you’ll see. You’d explode from pride if you just looked at her. Do you see? I really hope you see.

And in me. I look in the mirror sometimes and there you are, staring back at me. I find you in my anger at things. Although, I find myself not so easily angered nowadays by petty stuff – is this maturity? I find myself punching my fists into the air over injustice, and yelling at bigotry. I find myself calling people out on their bullshit, mom. And when it happens, it swirls up from within me and erupts from my mouth like a tornado that nobody got a warning for.

Undeniable Genealogy.
Me. You. I got a fright the first time I saw the photo on the right.
Thank you to Diane Cassells (oh mom, you’d have loved her!) for finding my mother in my face.

As those words tumble out of me, I hear your voice in them. Every time I say no, or yell at a stupid move by an unthinking twit, I see your power laid bare again. I understand now, how you’d say people would see you and assume you were meek. And you’ll laugh at their surprise after you opened your mouth to speak. You were assumed to be meek, until you began to speak.

It strengthens me, especially when I feel utterly obliterated by something that’s happened. That peculiar “Let’s get something to eat and then deal with this crisis” coping mechanism that you made into a life ritual. C even knows, when something happens, our first stop for everything is “get something to eat”. Haha.

But I see you in that ferocity of my love too. That focused, white light of love that a mother has for her children and family, and that guides everything. I have leant on that love, to teach me a way forward when I felt lost. That is the love you taught me, and now I am enacting it every day.

I wish for you in the corner mom. I wish for you in the corner of my lounge. I wish for you in the corner of my life. I wish for you in the corner of every single one of my days.

Happy Birthday, UM. I hope Dadadadad’s handing you a wine and a ciggie, and you’re laughing in a corner together somewhere.  I miss you so much.



The UM. 1 Year.

It’s been a year, mom.

It’s been a year when I’ve had to grow up. People say you don’t really grow up until your parents are gone.

From when I was very little,  you taught me that, in everything, there comes balance.

And here I am. I got Cameron, and then Dad went on. I found love, and then I lost you.

Yin and Yang. Balance.

I won’t lie. I’ve been feeling like an orphan for a while now. But, the thing that stops me sinking into that abyss of self-detriment is that notion of balance. Yes, I’ve lost you and dad but, I have gained more than I ever imagined over that time. Whilst I do not have my parents, I do have a family of my own. The closest approximation to the homely texture of bloodlines, that I could possibly wish for.

The one thing that stings in my heart, mom, is that you and Dad have not been able to witness this joy in my life. This all-encompassing love and its ramifications, attachments and journey. You witnessed the hell of my teenage years and my aimless wanderings through young adulthood but, I feel like you’re missing the good part. The part you were hoping I would end up living. The part you kept believing was my future, but were never given all that much evidence that it would be.

Mom, I want you to know, that to the best of my ability, I have done and am doing the things you told me to. The only thing I cannot face, still, is finishing your book. I feel incapable, unworthy, just thinking about it. I’ve read it. I’ve read all the things you wrote. I’ve read them, over and over again. Some of them…well, one of them, is stuck on my fridge and I read it every day. It was a letter you wrote to me when I was thirteen. It’s relevant to me every single day, and I’m wholly reminded of how blessed I am to have had parents who wrote to me. Who gave me a legacy of words, and who passed on a history of rich memory and absolute treasure.

I really, truly hope I am half as good a parent as you and Dad were to me. I really, really hope I am.

I thank you, daily, for being the inspirational parents you were to me. I know I was not the easiest journey. Moreover, I know you wouldn’t have changed a single day of that journey because it brought me to where I am today. I know I wouldn’t either. I love that you gave me the power to stand firm for myself, and I thank you for being that rolemodel to me. I thank you for believing in me with your whole heart. I thank you for believing in your values with all your life’s power.

I’m trying to write this without crying, can you tell? We generally suck at that kind of thing. We cry at everything. Television weddings, especially. 🙂

Mom, Cameron has grown. Mom, the most important thing I know I can do with Cameron is create memories with her. So I try my very hardest. I want her to grow up believing that every day is special and different. I want her to have that enthusiasm that she shows, where each new day is an absolute treasure, and that there are smiles, even when it’s raining.

I wish you could be here some days. Yesterday, when she saw a rainbow for the very first time. The other day, when she drew me as her mom for the first time, properly. The picture was full of hearts. Oh how I cried and cried over that. How I absolutely cried. How lucky did I get? She knows that I love her and she loves me. Mom, she knows that I love her. Thank you for teaching me how to let my child know that I love her. I learnt it from you.

I learnt how to love from you. The greatest lesson of all life, I learnt from my greatest heroes. Even more blessed, I was born from them. Could I have been any more blessed?

I hope you know this. I really hope you do. I hope you know that, through all the tribulations we went through as a family, we know love.

Every time I dance like a madperson around the house. Every time I make your first granddaughter giggle. Every time I stand in front of the stove making dinner. Every time I sit down and play with Cameron. Every time I tuck her into bed at night.

Every time I breathe as a mother, and every time I hope like hell that I’m doing a good job. Every time I get a sign to say that I’m doing okay. Every time I start to try again. Every time I do not give up. Every time I start over. Every time I make my peace with what life has given me. Every time I celebrate my blessings.

Every time. Every time, they are a tribute to you.

I love you and miss you daily.

Mother’s Day

This will be my first Mother’s Day without my own mom. 

That fact burns in my heart, very much.

I could go on about this but, I won’t.

Instead, I’ll focus on the positive. They are:

1. Even though I do not have her to squeeze and hug, she left me with a legacy I can only hope to live up to, as a woman, mother, friend and human being.

2. I have amazing mother figures in my life. I am blessed to have them, and I intend to spoil them on Mother’s Day. As they should be.

3. I am a mom. The biggest, most unexpected blessing of my life.

My mom would’ve wanted me to remember these three things.

If you still have your mom, celebrate her. Love her, hug her very hard. If there is any silly conflict between you, let it rest, even if it’s just for this one day. The fact is, she loves you, no matter what. She loves you purely because you exist.

And, if you are a mom, demand breakfast in bed. Mothers are the most undemanding people on the planet, let yourself be a little demanding, just for one day.