BY JOANNE ZAMMIT
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it is the hardest day. Not your birthday, not your anniversary, not Easter, not Christmas, but Mother’s Day. The way I can describe it to others who haven’t lost their mum is, imagine if you lost a loved one (whether that is by death, divorce, break up, friendship lost, pet dying – whatever grief it is) then imagine if they had a national day celebrating them. Seeing the ads on TV, or the signs in the shops, oh and the fucking Mother’s Day cards (I want to desperately buy you one). Hearing what people are doing with their mother’s, hurts my heart. Watching other people take the day for granted, pisses me off. People not empathising, hurts me. Why? Because I am in pain mum, I miss you. Mum, I don’t want to experience Mother’s Day if I can’t have it with you. Can’t I just be in denial that day? Mum, can’t I just forget that day?
My first Mother’s Day as a mother was my first Mother’s Day without you. This year will be my third Mother’s Day without you. It hasn’t gotten any easier. How would I cope without my boys? I worry about Adam, my brother on this day, because all I can do is focus on my boys, but he can’t do that yet, Mother’s Day will never be about him, only you. How did you do it mum without your mum for so many years? You lived half your life without her. That is a big fear of mine. Will you still know me? You never saw me as a mother. Will you still call me Jo Jo, sweat pea? That just fuckin ripped my soul out.
Mum, it hurts me that I can’t see you, ring you, cuddle you, talk to you about the good times and the bad. Mum, when people are unkind to me, I always knew I had your protection. Because you loved me unconditionally when not everyone does. Mum, I hate to say it but jealousy comes out of me on Mother’s Day. Seeing everyone with their mother’s, I just want it, I just want you. I am finding it very difficult to see anyone on Mother’s Day expect for my boys. You are the person I want to see, so if I can’t see you, I want to hide under the covers all day. Mum, what was it like for you? Especially when Adam and I were young and you had just lost Grandma? Mum, we never spoke about this. I want to know. Mum, how did you spend Mother’s Day with your mum? We never spoke about this either. Mum, why didn’t I ever see you cry on Mother’s Day?
I know what you would say to me, I can hear you now, you have to put it in another compartment of your brain Jo, that sadness, that pain, so you can enjoy the here and now.
Mum, what was mother’s day like for you?
I loved it, we used to shop, brunch together and lots of coffee stops (you loved the coffee stops)- what we did best. Okay mum, you are giving me hope now.
See you, you have showed me, that you lived again without your mum and made Mother’s Day one of our favourite days together. Okay mum, I am going to try for my boys. And you. And me. You deserve it because you gifted me life. My boys deserve their mummy on this day.
But mum, it still is going to hurt. Is that ok? Mum, I still will cry, I still will want to have lunch with you and shop with you. But mum, I might smile too, because you also gifted me with my two boys. They have a piece of you in them. Oh and I learnt how to be a mother from you (the best), so that day does deserve to be celebrated.
Okay Mum, what shall we do? Adam, my husband, said let’s do all things that remind you of your mum – shopping, lunch, coffee and reading books (I love that he said books mum). Oh wait a minute, I’ve just realised something, mum, I am just like you, that is everything I would want to do. Hey mum, I just want to know, so do you think I am doing a good job as a mother? I still have so many questions for you. Okay mum, I can hear you again. You are saying, never stop asking, never stop talking to me, never stop remembering, yep, I am here right now with you Jo Jo. You don’t need me to tell you these answers, because my sweat pea, you are experiencing it all for yourself, just like I did.
Okay mum, I am going to focus on your beauty and all you taught me. I am going to celebrate you mum and celebrate HOW you taught me to be a mother. You taught me for 30 years. How lucky was I?
Mum you taught me kindness and grace. How to love unconditionally and selflessly. You taught me that motherhood is a blessing from above. You taught me, that we were created for each other. You taught me how to cook, clean, shop, dress, style my home, be resilient and to be very self aware. You taught me to reflect. You taught me to always work hard and never give up. You taught me to not take shit from others and know my self worth. You taught me that travel was the best form of education as is reading books. You told me to read at night if I was anxious – to get lost in a book. You taught me how to be stylish and look after my clothes. You told me how to control my anger and that is true intelligence. You taught me how to car dance. You taught me how to love myself and how beautiful I am. You taught me how to be kind to others and to always have manners. You taught me to never give up on love and my soul mate would come. You told me Adam was the one. You taught me how to speak softly (even though I was a bit loud at times 😂), you always taught me to look after my skin. You taught me to be honest. You taught me to be independent. You taught me to love and be generous. You taught me how to be a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day mum. We will celebrate us both. Becoming a mother was the BEST gift ever given to me, and having you as my mother allowed me to recognise it was the best gift. Motherhood was my calling, I am so grateful for it, as I am for you.
I love you.
A bit about Joanne:
When Joanne lost her beautiful mother, all she wanted to do was talk to her again + ask her a million and one questions. She shares her story + things she has learnt over the years so her babies always have a collection of her thoughts + their memories. She blogs about everything from fashion to interiors, lifestyle, baby, motherhood, parenting, pregnancy, health and education for Mama and her mini.
To read more from Joanne, head over to her blog storyandco.com.au.