Mother’s Day has always been a bit of a challenging and emotional day for me. It can be if you did not have a traditional mother or what is considered a “normal” childhood. I had neither, but it was my reality. I had no comparison to make because what I grew up with was my norm. So it wasn’t weird, not to have a mother because it was my version of normal. In retrospect, nothing about my childhood was normal, but that’s another post altogether.
My father was a single dad and raised me with the help of my paternal grandmother. I never knew what it was like to have a traditional mother since the one who carried me for nine months, gave birth, and then opted out of motherhood when I was two months was nowhere around. I am superficially connected to her now, but time lost at this level cannot be made up. I’ve recently worked on my feelings around that abandonment, in therapy so I am at a good place with that. Again, that’s a whole other can of worms.
So, for as long as I remembered, I would give my dad Mother’s Day flowers, and celebrate him on this day. That will no longer be the case as this is the first year that I celebrate Mother’s Day without a “mother” to celebrate as I am accustomed to celebrating my dad on this day.
I thought that this would hit me particularly hard, especially since my dad passed about a week after Mother’s Day last year. I have been pleasantly surprised that this day has not had an overwhelmingly sad impact on me. I think that was 100% due to therapy sessions I’ve had in the past few weeks there I learned ways to cope, that I didn’t know before.
So instead of being overwhelmingly sad today, I created new traditions around this holiday to celebrate my memories of my father and past Mother’s Day’s.
In our new normal of social distancing, we must be aware and cognizant of crowds. So, I arranged to have virtual coffee and chat with a friend. It was wonderful. I needed to see their face and talk about life. We usually do this in person every few weeks, and I’d missed that so much. So, as a part of my new tradition around holidays, I will make sure I spend time with people I love and who love me.
I also lit a candle in memory of my dad and all of the past Mother’s Days we spend together. I lit a white lemon scented soy candle that also aligned with the Solar Plexus Chakra. That aligns with mental energy, self-esteem, confidence, and working on putting the needs of others ahead of your own. Focusing on others instead of myself has been an area of challenge for me that I am conquering. So, it seemed right that I light the candle for my father that passed, and due to this I recognized how I needed to make a life pivot.
I prepared dinner JUST for me. ALL food that I enjoyed. That is something I would have never done a few years ago. That’s because, in the past, most things about my life were focused on me celebrating others, which will never be exclusively the case anymore.
Finally, I baked a cake, and I haven’t baked a cake in over twenty years. I did that late last night winding down evening. My father used to threaten to bake a cake all the time. He even talked about it when he was sick. We knew he would never bake a cake. So it became a bit of a family joke. Every time he said it, we would laugh. He was always surprised that we were laughing.
So, this Mother’s Day and future holidays, my new traditions will involve celebrating ME. That may seem a selfish statement, but to someone that has spent their entire lives making everyone else happy, it’s healing and liberation.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to ME and Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!
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