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Reflections on Mother’s Day After Your Mother is Gone

May 10, 2018
Jugl-Mom-Mothers-Day-Mother-Gone

Jugl CEO Amy Rosenow with her mom back in the day…

Mother’s Day as a mom after your own mother is gone is always bittersweet.

While I am overjoyed at the marvel of our two amazing girls, the loss is also deeply acute on Mother’s Day.  I try to take time on this day to really feel the wide range of emotions: wonder at the miracle of creation; marvel and amusement at the fascinating ways that our girls are both alike and different from each other and from my husband and me; exhaustion from trying to be a good CEO, mom, wife, sister and friend (and trying to figure out what order to put those in each day!); fear that we are somehow screwing our kids up; melancholy from noticing that the years are going by so very, very fast (in that scary Gretchen Rubin “The days are long, but the years are short” kind of way); and so much love.

On this day more than most, I wish I could see my mom.  I wish I could thank her for her patience and wisdom.  I wish I could apologize for being such a PIA teenager (and let her perhaps enjoy some schadenfreude from seeing how my girls can make me crazy!)  I see the grandmas and grandpas at the school play/soccer game/graduation, etc. and I think about how my kids kind of got screwed out of one of the great joys of childhood, and how I am missing out on such a wonderful source of love and support.

I wish I could apologize for being such a PIA teenager (and let her perhaps enjoy some schadenfreude from seeing how our girls can make me crazy!)

But I am a glass-half-full kind of gal.  As of this year, my dad will have been deceased for 25 years and my mom for 10.  When I reflect upon that, plus the fact that a dear friend was murdered a few years ago, I find it interesting to notice that what comes up for me the most now is not sadness or anger, but a fiercely burning fire of love and appreciation for the people that I love right here and right now.

Folks that are close to me know that a main tenet that I have lived my life by over the last decade since my mom’s death is “I don’t just get on planes for funerals.”  I have tried to live this both metaphorically and literally.  I’ve flown in for weddings, brises, baby-namings, birthday parties; you name it.  I sometimes treat airplanes the way other people treat taxicabs!  I’ve squeezed in these happy occasions even when it meant whizzing in and out of a city in under 24 hours.  I’ve yet to regret any of these efforts.  Celebrating joyous occasions with other people creates an exponential increase in joy for all involved!!  And I’m trying to live this tenet in daily life: expressing gratitude and appreciation, trying (hard as it may sometimes be) not to sweat the small stuff, and raising our girls to be fierce and to embrace life with joy and wonder.

A main tenet that I have lived my life by over the last decade since my mom’s death is “I don’t just get on planes for funerals.”

So, this Mother’s Day weekend while I will be sad that my mom is not here to celebrate with us, or see my daughter in the school play, or join us in some pre-Bat Mitzvah festivities, we are going to have a great day and weekend.  My in-laws and my sister are coming to town from Florida, and we’re going to share a wonderful weekend together.  I’m not telling you anything new when I say:

We don’t get to choose what happens to us in life, but we almost always do get to choose how we react to it.  I choose to react to missing my mom on Mother’s Day by spreading love and appreciation and joy.

My hope for all our readers is that you savor your time on Sunday and that you feel and express joy and wonder to some special people in your life – whether you still have your mom or not and whether you are a mom or not.

And to all my fellow mothers:  Happy Mother’s Day!!  Giddy’up!!!  Woo hoo!!!  It is truly a privilege to be in the trenches with you.

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