There’s really no better way for me to share how I feel on this day, than to share what I wrote last year on Mother’s Day. The blog post is re-published below.
But, in the end, this day is always a story about LOVE.
So, in honor of LOVE, here are some photos that I love of my Mama Sling and me — in sickness and in health from when I was age 17 to age 21.
May your mother be with you.
Wherever she may be.
Happy Mother’s Day.
first published: May 8, 2011
It is Mother-less Day for me, this May 8th, a.k.a. “Mother’s Day”.
I feel deeply for all of us motherless daughters and sons on this day.
This day, a celebration of the physical delivery of flowers, or brunch, or greeting cards. A day dedicated to waking up with a surprise breakfast in bed, or going to sleep with warm mommy hugs and kisses at night.
I couldn’t even call my mom if I wanted to.
She is somewhere so very far away not even Verizon could get her on the line to confirm “can you hear me now?”
But, I know in my heart she can hear me.
Here’s the crazy part, as in, you are going to think me crazy when you read this: I can feel my mother with me.
She may be physically departed, her train left the station long ago, but she shows up in my life in the most amazing ways.
In my car. In my dreams. Through songs on the radio.
The first time it happened was soon after returning from Mama Sling’s funeral. I woke up in a daze in the middle of the night.
There in my dream she appeared.
A healthy and vibrant version of my mother, not the chemotherapy drained one. She was beautiful and happy and in the drivers seat of her mini van. I was in the passengers seat.
As we drove down the main street of my hometown she asked how each of my family members were doing post funeral. I reported back on my sister and my father, and then as we approached the main intersection of the busiest road in town, the light turned yellow.
Instead of hitting the brakes to slow the car down, my dear Mama Sling, the most patient and graceful person I had ever known, hit the gas.
I screamed in horror. “Mom! The light! The light is turning red!”
She just turned and looked me directly in the eyes with a knowing and gentle smile on her face, “I know Jamie, but we just have to keep going.”
It was just a dream. But in it she was very real to me. And her message to me was also very clear. Don’t stop, not on her account.
And I did.
A few years later she returned.
The day I was married she showed up in the Santorini sunset overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. As I walked out into the sunlight, all dressed in white and about to take my vows (and unbeknownst to me at the time, an unfortunate plunge into the wrong marriage) I felt the light of sky hit my cheeks. I knew Mama Sling was with me.
Then, the night after I escaped the darkest days of my misfortunate marriage, I had another dream.
I was sitting by a pool with my mother. All of a sudden (as only a dream could command) a baby in a pink striped bikini was drowning in the water. My mother helped me scoop the baby out of the water and showed me how to swaddle her in a blanket.
Mama Sling put the baby in my arms, cooing at her and instructing me on the proper way to hold her and caress the tiny thing.
When I awoke I realized the baby was wearing a bikini with the same color pink striped shirt I owned. A light bulb went off in my brain: the baby is me!
My mother was telling me to take care of myself, to baby myself in this time of great difficulty and despair.
It felt like an otherworldly moment.
More than a dream, or subconscious thought, or even a movie or a story. It felt like a primordial hug, the kind I may no longer attain in this physical world, the kind that only occurs when a mother embraces her child.
I could tell you more stories, and share more moments I have experienced in the years since my mother’s death. The songs that come out of nowhere on the radio, the coincidences that pile up, continually, to point where I don’t question it anymore.
I just look up to the sky and blow Mama Sling a kiss.
I could share all of this with you, at the risk that you think it crazy.
Unless of course, you too have lost your mother, then I suppose, you too might already know.
If you are like me, maybe you can’t buy flowers or a card or gifts wrapped up in pretty paper. And, maybe you can’t share a hug or a laugh or even a phone call. In the end, what we are left with is a thought, a memory, a feeling, a connection, or a dream. And, that, above all is else is what counts.
So, to all my dear motherless daughters and motherless sons, I wish you a happy Mother-less Day, and even more so, I wish you those magical moments on the most spectacular of days, those days when you know, in your heart, your mother is with you.