The correct term for today here is Mothering Sunday, but over the years and keeping up with their ex-colony, the U.K. has gradually adopted the broader Mother’s Day expression in its place. Mothering Sunday was originally the 4th Sunday in Lent, when one returned to ones mother or home church. However, as the term changed, so has its meaning and now it means the same as Mother’s Day around the world, a day to honour mothers.
I notice on Facebook, my main social base, that people remember to honour their mothers who have since died. Somehow I do not, at least not with any verbal tribute as some do. And I began to wonder today why I don’t. I’m trying to remember if I ever have, and can’t. I think of my dad on Father’s Day, but I wonder if it isn’t because he didn’t play as prominent a role in my life. I am much more my mother’s daughter I think.
I never looked anything like her, to my regret. She was a real beauty, and tall and elegant, even in her later years. But she was my North Star, the voice I heard in my head, the voice I still hear. Even before either of us became Christians, her words provided my moral centre, one which I came to see very much lined up with the Word of God when we did.
I should miss her since she’s passed, and feel deep sadness, and yet I don’t, not in the normal ways. I shed few tears when she died and I was with her; I haven’t cried missing her much since. In fact, I don’t think about her all that often, and when I realize I don’t, it troubles me a little. Why don’t I? She was the most important person in my life for most of it. Her word was the one I most trusted.
The odd thing is I often dream of her, and Dad, too. I don’t dream about them, per se, but they are in my dreams as if they are alive in my life now. So, as I give time to think about all this, I am coming to the conclusion that because Mom was always so close to me in life, because I spent so much time with her in her latter years when she lived with me and my sister, and because I got to say all I wanted to while she was with me, she still is…right here with me. I know she’s in heaven with the Lord, but my heart behaves as if she’s here, too. When I was young, she used to say that our loved ones who pass on are kept alive in our hearts as we remember them, and I thought that’s what people say when they don’t really believe in eternal life, that the dead are only ‘kept alive’ by our memories.
But maybe she was on to something. Maybe it isn’t either or. Maybe because she and I were so close, not even death could make me feel apart from her, which would explain to me why I don’t miss her like I have felt I should. But, in case she’s listening:
Mom, I can’t ever thank you enough for your life, your example and your love. They gave me shelter when I needed it, wings when I needed them and an inner assurance that everything would turn out all right in the end!
All my family photos are packed away, so this is the best I can do at the moment…