Caregiving on Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a difficult time for me. It was around Mother's Day that  I lost my mother and felt no reason for a celebration. However, the passage of time without the presence of my mother have caused me to reevaluate certain subjects in a slightly different manner. One of these is the fact that out of the 365 days a year that most mothers continue to tend to the needs of their family, make time for the occasional favors as needed by their friends, and in all honestly make very little time for themselves, this country feels the necessity to only recognize them ONE day each year.

Those of us who were caregivers to mothers whom we have now lost need not close our eyes to "her" special day. Because she is no longer with us is no cause to ignore the many years that she tended to our needs and gave us her unconditional love. We were blessed with her presence and now are similarly blessed with her memories. This Sunday will hold a very special meaning to many of us.

To those who are caregiving to their mothers, you are blessed to still have her in the present. Yes, it is a gift - that's why it's called the "present." Many of you are in such different stages in the caregiving process and likewise many of your mothers are in varying stages of failure. Regardless of your situation, you all have one very important thing in common. You still have "TIME". Time to share special memories with her. Time to right the wrongs from the past. Time to overcome the hard feelings that dwell within both of you. Time to perhaps realize that underlying all of the negative feelings and resentments lies a deep emotion that not even you realized was there. It's a thing called "love."

For those of you who have mothers that are strong and healthy, you may be carrying anger or hurt. Life is short. A mother shared with me yesterday that her daughter was 52 years old and that she was 72 years old. She sadly told me that her daughter was still angry with her. She had know idea why her daughter was upset with her as her daughter could not express herself. How vitally important it is for us to open ourselves up with communication, expression, forgiveness and compassion. I thought to myself that her daughter was living a pained, unfufilled life carrying this burden with her for so many years. In this particular situation for many of us, it is up to us to take responsibility for where we are in the moment.. it's time to stop blaming others and if the situation cannot be healed, it is up to us to make the necessary change in our own life to heal our resentments and hurt and move onward. I takes a lot of hard, deep inner work to heal and this is something many are either afraid of or unwilling to do. But to live a life of authenticity, no one is responsible but ouselves for healing and opening our hearts to love.

To those of you who are blessed with healthy, functioning mothers - please realize that she has journeyed down a long path for many years with no manual to follow nor any "how to" book to read in order to be prolific at her responsibilities. She didn't just allot one day a year to be there for you. More than likely for many years she was a 24/7 mother to you. Take whatever time is left with her to make sure every day is "her" day. After all, where would you be?