The First Mother’s Day: Watching Over Me


We all have those times were we just need to get away, step outside of our little worlds, take a break and see things from a different perspective.  That was this weekend for me.  The grief counselors told me that Mother’s Day would be a trigger. It would be an emotional day, so plan for it and do something meaningful.  And indeed it was.  Oddly enough, I loved seeing the all the posts and pictures of everyone with their Mother’s.  It made me grateful that I had mine for 43 years. It was reassuring and made me feel good that the world had not stopped just because my mother was gone. But I still did miss her deeply.

The plan was to go to the beach, relax, have a good time, eat, drink and be as merry as possible, while remembering and honoring my mother.  As it turned out, she had a gift for me too. As I sat in a restaurant Friday night, I saw an older lady facing me in the next booth over.  We caught each other’s eyes and connected, looking at each other smiling for several seconds, maybe 15-20 or more.  This happened several times during dinner.  We could not stop or keep our eyes off each other when this happened.  And I thought her eyes and smile look just like my mother’s.

When she and her family got up to leave, I had to go over and just tell her that she reminded me so much of my mother who had passed away last year, and that is why I kept looking at her and smiling. That my mother was my best friend. I said thank you so much and wished her a happy Mother’s Day. She just smiled and took my hands.  Her family said she was 92 and she shook her head yes.  And smiled at me again. Then she looked at me and said she loved me and gave me the most wonderful hug.  And for a moment, I had my mother back, I had my last hug and I love you with her.  For a moment, my mother was there with me.  And it was wonderful.

That lady and her family will never know how wonderful that moment was, how much it meant, or what a gift it was to me. But my Mother knows.  I think that was her gift to me. Yes, she is still looking after me. But then she always did.  I remember in 2013, after my last court date concerning the attack.  I had to face the man who attacked me in court.  And at the end of the day I was emotionally distraught and exhausted.  When I get like that, my body temperature drops and I cannot get warm.  That night, she turned the heat up as high as it would go, wrapped me up in blankets and stayed up all night watching over me in the hotel room to make sure that I slept and did not have nightmares.  She didn’t sleep at all, just watching over me, like only a mother could.

On Mother’s Day, I sat on the beach in the sun for a long time.  It was a bit crowded with families and young people enjoying the mild weather and sunshine. And when it was time, I took the envelope with the cards and letter to my amazing mother, walked to the water and started swimming out to were the water was deeper.  And as I swam, the water was cool and washed over me, caressing my heart as I made my way out deeper with the envelope.  It started to come apart as I swam, my mother anxious to read what was written inside.  And when a big wave came towards me, I let it go, for the waves to carry to her so she could open and read it.  I watched the envelope as it disappeared into the water. And I whispered that I loved her now and always.

It was a beautiful moment, soft and gentle, in the ocean, with people swimming and splashing around.  A private moment between mother and daughter, only seen by God. It was perfect. And as I eventually swam back to the shore, I heard her whisper to me in the wind, a message only for me.

Today is her birthday, she would have been 76.  I miss her so much, but I also feel her love around me, watching over me now just like she did in that hotel room four years before.

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