Story and artwork by Kathy May Tran
Click here to see story published on Mogul, an online publishing platform for women.
Dear Mom, happy Mother’s Day.
Today is your day and we want you to know that.
Thank you for everything.
We love you.
We have all said these words before. In fact, we have said them on this day every year for as many years as we can remember. Nothing has changed – we still mean every single word and we still love our mothers just as much, even more. But, at the same time, everything has changed – because now we say these words with our hearts and not with our voices.
It may have been decades, years, months, or days since you lost your mother. For me and my brother, this is the second Mother’s Day without our beloved mom. Even though time has passed, I still find myself reaching for the phone when I want to share exciting news with her, when I have a question about what to do, or when I am just feeling lonely. I always catch myself to realize that when I press her picture on the speed dial that no one will be there to pick up with a “hello.”
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we all miss our mothers. On Mother’s Day, we miss them even more. We miss them when we’re at the store, surrounded by flowers, candies, and brightly-colored cards with affectionate messages written happily across them. We miss them when we see other people with their mothers, smiling and perfectly content in each other’s company. Sometimes I yearn to return to Mother’s Days of years past so that I could hug my mom again and shower her with love and kisses. I wouldn’t just say, “I love you,” but I would tell her just how much I love her, just how much I appreciate her, and just how much she means to me.
Despite how much we miss our moms, Mother’s Day does not have to be a day filled with sorrow and longing for us. After all, it is intended to honor our mothers for the exceptional women they were. Let it not be a reminder of loss and pain, but let it be a reminder of how beautiful women our mothers were, how great the lives they led, how blessed we are to have had them.
A mother’s love is everlasting and a mother’s comfort spans distance, time, and life. I sense my mom’s presence as I walk along the street, remembering places she liked and sights she found interesting. I know she’s watching when I cook a recipe that she taught me, even though my version is never as good. I feel her spirit when I sit for dinner and say the blessing, as we had done together so many times before. I see her reflection when others point out the similarities between her and my brother or me. Then, I feel better because I know that she is there, and I know that she is in us.
Just because our mothers do not sit beside us does not mean that they are not in our hearts. Just because we cannot say “I love you” in person does not mean that they do not know how much we care. And so, to them, we will say the words that we have said so many times before and we will continue saying them, especially on this day every year for as many years as we can:
Dear Mom, happy Mother’s Day.
Today is your special day, Mom, and we want you to know that you are the absolute best mother a person could ever hope for. You healed our wounds of skinned knees and broken hearts. You were tough when we were stubborn, gentle when we were vulnerable. You supported us regardless of our flaws and mistakes and celebrated our big moments and successes. You gave us memories that we will treasure always.
Thank you, Mom, for everything you have done for us, everything that you have given us. Not only did you give us life, but also you gave us a meaning for our lives. You gave us enough love for more than a lifetime, more than enough love to last us even now you’re gone.
We love you, Mom, and we miss you.