Mother’s Day has changed for me over these past few years. 6 years ago I hated it. I despised the meaning and the joy others received from it and wanted to not even acknowledge the day. The next year I felt the two extremes. Hating it and being a new mother. How do you disregard a day that you are now meant to be honoured by? And then the next few years were still the same. Wanting to avoid it, but not wanting to take away from what Arrine has given me as a mother.
This year was the best Mother’s Day I have had since my own mother died. I still don’t like to think about the day and don’t spend time over-planning or thinking. And this year I knew that Arrine would be with Nick on Mother’s Day and I didn’t do anything to change it. Her daycare had a Mother’s Day Breakfast on Friday which I attended and Arrine gave me a lovely gift she made. And we spent all day together on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t need anything more. But on Saturday night when Arrine was heading home with Nick, she mentioned the “surprise picnic” the next day.
So today, after I slept in (as I love to do) and went to the gym, Nick invited me over to his house and then gave me strict instructions. “When you get to the house, park and then walk north until you find the gravel path. Then follow it until you find us.” And I did that just that. And at the end of the path, on a grassy hill, I found Nick and Arrine hiding under a picnic blanket. She revealed herself and yelled, “Surprise!” And I was crying good tears. We ate sandwiches and had juice boxes and Pringles. And it was absolutely perfect.
The gift I received was a picture Arrine drew. It was of me and her and two butterflies – and the butterflies were me and Grandma Anne-Marie. And I cried and I asked Arrine to give me a big hug. And I smelled her hair and I was astonished with her depth and insight and caring and thoughtfulness – even though I know all of this already.
And when we were done eating, we walked back to the house and that was it. And I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Today was also a bit different for me. Instead of focusing on the mother that I no longer have, I found myself thinking of the women who are still such wonderful mother figures for me. Marlene and Karen. These women have supported me when I have needed it the most and I am forever grateful for. And there are other friends and family members of my mother who have stayed in my life after my mother’s death – Iris, Irene, Audrey, Colleen and Linda. I am blessed to still have these strong female role models in my life.
I didn’t do anything to specifically honour my mom today, as I have felt the need to do in past years. But tonight I found myself craving a white wine spritzer – one of my mom’s favourites. And I am now on my second glass. And I just bbq’d chicken breasts that I marinated in lemon, oregano and basil for the afternoon, not even realizing it was one of my mom’s favourites to make until I sat down to write.
I now honour her by just being me. And not trying to do things “for her” or “because of her”. And I have found this shift in my execution, ever since I let go the death of my mother defining me.
Today, on Mother’s Day, I honour the mother who was such a strong presence in my life, she is still teaching me in her death. I am so proud to call her my mother. I miss her to my core. And I wish she could see what a beautiful granddaughter she has in Arrine, and the mother I have become.
Happy Mother’s Day, mom.
Love Princes Kae