Mother’s Day is sometimes a difficult time for me because I miss my mom. This may sound strange to some who know me since my mom is still alive, but she has been living with dementia for a while now. Although I am beyond grateful that my mom is still with me, there is so much I would love to discuss with her at this time in my life. I find myself still wanting her advice, her wisdom and her stories.
When I talk to friends about their mothers, I wonder if whether they are doing all they can to soak up the wisdom that lie within their mother's lessons and life stories. I believe that the greatest gift we can give someone we love is to see them, hold them, know them, and pass on their stories to future generations.
I’ve written about my mom over the years, I even researched and written a book about her family and being Japanese in America, but at this time in my life, I find myself wondering how deeply I really know my mom. Her inner-most thoughts and feelings? Her struggles, her pain, her anguish, and her joy? I find myself wondering how she really felt about so many of life’s biggest moments.
Now that I am caring for my mom, I often wonder about what was going through her heart and mind raising my brother and me. Did she feel what I am feeling now?
I wonder what her thoughts were when my brother and I left home. Did she feel lonely?
I wonder how she truly felt about getting older. Did she know that she was slowly losing her memories and thoughts? Was she scared, frustrated, or anxious?
I never had the chance to ask my mom any of these questions. I had always thought that there was still plenty of time as I busied myself with my life.
There is truth in the old adage, you never really know how much you miss something until it's gone. My one wish for all of you is not to wait until tomorrow to do what you can today.
If my mom could truly understand me today, I would like to tell her how thankful and honored I am to be her son. I would take the time to ask questions and listen to her stories. I would ask for her advice. Even so, I am grateful that I can still spend time with her. Holding hands with her is enough for me and, in some small way, I hope it conveys my love and gratitude.
So as we celebrate this Mother’s Day, if your mother is here, hug her, hold her and treasure her. And if she is able, take time to talk to her, listen to her stories, and thank her for being your mom and for always doing her best.
Happy Mother's Day!
(to be continued)