I have said it many times, and will continue to say it until the day I take my last breath, I had the best mother ever!
In my mind she was a saint. She kept our house running like clockwork and always was there to support me in every way I could ever dream.
My mother didn’t have an easy life, she suffered from health issues most of her life and was in a traumatic car accident when I was only four.
The year after her wreck, we lost my brother in an automobile accident. She had it tough and I used to tell her she was the strongest person I had ever known, that still rings true.
When mama went home to be with the Lord on February 21, 2010, my world was shattered. She had always been my guiding light and I didn’t know how I would go on.
Since that day, I have moved on and still think of her daily. She was and will always be my hero.
After mama died, Mother’s Day took on new meaning. A day of celebration turned into one of dread. I no longer had her with me physically and it hurt to remember those days once she had passed.
As time has gone on, today I use the day to reflect on the years I had her and the assurance that one day we will be together again.
I have also found other ways to celebrate Mother’s Day, as there are other women in my life who fill some of the void I have in missing her, the women who can never take her place, but remind me of the strong women who have influenced my life.
My mother’s best friend was Sara Singleton. Mrs. Singleton has been a part of my life since I was a child.
As a surrogate, Mrs. Singleton is the person I go to who makes me feel my mama’s presence.
Today she lives just a few minutes from my home and though I don’t get to visit with her as often as I would like, I always feel comforted when I do.
We talk about the stories of our town and reminisce. Mrs. Singleton provides me with comfort and a sense of continuity just by sitting and talking.
I love Mrs. Singleton and I know my mama would approve of the surrogacy she has given me.
When I moved to Florida, I didn’t know anyone. It was the late 90’s and I quickly developed a close-knit circle of friends that would act as my Florida family.
One of the people I met in Florida is Donna Baribeau. Donna was the “mom” for our group and quickly became my Florida “mom.”
Donna’s quick smile, loving embrace and encouragement was a source of enjoyment for me during my years in Florida and she still holds a special place in my heart now that I have moved away.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to “mom,” as she kept alive in me the comforts of home even though I lived so many miles away from my own blood family.
My sister-in-law, Donna is now the matriarch of our family. She carries on many of the traditions that we enjoyed as kids and provides a loving moral compass for us all to follow.
Donna is a confidant and friend. She is good-natured in taking the family “ribbing” that we all give her, with a sense of humor and humility that my own mama personified.
She also has taken the mantra of Nana to a level that is especially fun to watch. We kidded mama that her grandchildren were the most spoiled and loved children ever…… Nana Donna definitely has made sure that her granddaughter feels that same love!
Mama loved Donna as much as if she had given birth to her and I am especially thrilled that so much of my mother is embodied in Donna.
Today a new generation has begun the traditions and traits of my mama, it warms my heart to see it develop.
Chelsea, my niece, has grown into a young mother who is creating a family of fun, quality time and tradition just like my mother did.
She takes a special effort to have fun with my great-niece Hadley and I know mama smiles down from heaven when she sees them together.
I love watching the traits of mama flow down to Donna and Chelsea, even as they create a life path all their own.
Mother’s Day is different now. It is still bittersweet and usually includes a few tears during the day, but knowing I have these powerful women in my life does ease the pain.
I hope that you will enjoy your Mother’s Day this year and for those of you who are lucky enough to have your mom still with you, make sure to tell her you love and appreciate her, I promise, one day you will be glad you did!