The one impossible Mother’s Day gift

I’ve been procrastinating writing this post with some legitimacy. The husband had surgery on Friday, all went well thanks to the skilled hands of the physician and the grace of God. I stayed with him overnight, and we arrived home this afternoon. For the next two weeks, he is confined to the house…no riding in cars, no up and down the stairs, no nothing. I’m now praying to the HBO and SEC gods to provide entertainment for him; otherwise; I may have to find some pain pills of my own. But, that’s another post for another day.

So, why have I hesitated?

Because Sunday is Mother’s Day.

It’s a day of celebrating, honoring and thanking the women in our lives who, biologically or otherwise, nurtured, loved, mothered us.

(Disclaimer: if you’re one of those people who have lived a charmed life, raised by perfect parents and grown to be perfect yourselves, you’ll probably want to stop reading now.)

But it’s also a time I grieve the losses of my grandmothers, my mother who died when I was in my 30s when she was four years younger than I am now. I grieve for my daughter who lost her only child, my first grandchild, after a month in this world. And I grieve for the mother I could have been.

Between the ages of 24 and 32, I had five children. Five precious, beautiful, and delightfully messy kids…and I had no idea how to be a mother. To be a cupcake-baking, mud pie-making, and adventure-taking mother.

Here’s the gift I want for Mother’s Day. The gift my children, my husband, not even I will be able to give myself.

I want a mommy mulligan (not the stew…the golf mulligan, the extra you’re allowed after a poor shot that doesn’t count on your score card). I want a do-over and over and over again, but knowing what I know now.

I’ve missed so many things in my children’s lives. Some of that’s on me, some not. The reasons don’t matter. Not now. I can never recapture those times. And, for the record, this isn’t a one-woman pity party. It’s the painful reality of my life that I’ve had to own because if I didn’t, it would own me.

My children all live away from home now. One lives three hours away, the others six hours away. I miss them everyday.

I can’t ever fill the well of sadness and regret in my heart. But I’ve promised myself, and them, that I will spend the rest of my life doing what I can to fill the empty spaces in theirs.

 (The photo is of my grandmother holding my mother.)

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