For years I hated Mother’s Day. Ever since my mother passed away there are certain days of the year that I absolutely dread. Her birthday, her death date and my parent’s anniversary, but the Holidays are a given- especially Mother’s Day. The day dedicated to applauding Mothers is now useless since I don’t have one to celebrate. WAIT!? I’m sure you yell- aren’t you a mother? Yes, I am, but at the time that didn’t matte…. Now, don’t worry- this post isn’t going to be depressing. Trust me. I always share the lesson at the end just like a good storyteller. 😉 I’ll turn this story around with one simple phrase–change your focus.
in 2014 my best friend and Mother passed away. There are so many things that I learned from her death- and I promise one day I will share a post on all of those lessons. But today- the lesson is changing perspective on a hard day. I knew Mother’s Day was approaching- like it does every year. The first Mother’s day without my mother I put on a brave face and went to church. I sat through the church meeting listening about the qualities a mother should have and how being a mother is a gift to treasure. I listened for awhile and once the song began- which happened to be one of my mother’s favorite songs, I rushed out of the church crying.
Unfortunately, the next two years- I avoided Mother’s Day like the plague with the worst attitude. Yes, I could switch the focus on me- after all– I too am a mother, or I do have a mother in law. But, instead I believed Mother’s Day would forever be a miserable day.
A week before Mother’s Day 2018- the fourth year without my Mother I had a strong impression- no a reprimand. I had such a strong feeling that I was ruining Mother’s Day for not only myself, but for my family and setting the worst example for my daughter. (Oh crap!) That I was in charge of how I handled this holiday- no one else. And if I wanted it to be a better holiday- then I needed to change! After a lot of thought and prayer, I came to a conclusion- I decided to honor my Mother on Mother’s Day by spending the day doing exactly as my Mother would do.
Spending Mother’s Day- like Mom
The morning of Mother’s Day I woke with a spring in my step and thought throughout the day, “what would mom do.” Or, “what would mom say.” I prayed my mother would inspire me and use me as an instrument in her hands. And you guys, she did!I found energy in my steps- even though it was a rough night of newborn sleep deprivation. I found myself listening intently and loudly singing the hymns. I sat by a widow I did not know and started a conversation with her. Before our church service was finished, I felt the burning desire in my heart to invite this stranger to Mother’s Day dinner. I could not contain the words as they literally flew out of my mouth and I told this woman, “why don’t you come over for dinner, do you have plans?”
To my shock, not only did she accept my invitation but, sadly her family didn’t live in town and she was planning to eat a granola bar for dinner. You guys- a granola bar! My eyes nearly burst with tears as I hugged her and told her that a granola bar would not do for Mother’s Day.
That Mother’s day dinner started a wonderful relationship. Fast forward several months later and turns out- this widow not only became an adopted Grandma to my children, but get this… she is a distant relative!! I mean, who would have known?? We both became an answer to prayers that day. I was able to fulfill her need because I was no longer drowning in my self-misery, but instead decided to focus on something or someone else.
This post is dear to my heart since Mother’s Day is smack dab in the middle of all the dates I dread most in a month: my mother’s birthday, Mother’s Day and my parent’s anniversary. Often times we hear a similar phase- “Be the master of your own destiny”. It’s hard to remember this statement when you are swallowed up in grief, fear or any emotion really. Have you lost a loved one before? Is there a certain day or Holiday you dread? Could I encourage you to do something for me?
Decide to focus on someone or something else.
What could you do to honor that person on “their” day?
If you know someone that has a certain day/Holiday they dread- how could you improve that inevitable day?
They say the pain of losing someone goes away in time. Truthfully, I believe we learn to live with the pain. But, when we are choosing to honor the ones we loved and lost with good intentions and service- that pain doesn’t hurt anymore because our focus has changed.
Wishing you the best,