Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and the retail stores are all a buzz about gifts for mom. Flowers, candies, spa packages, stuffed animals, chocolate covered strawberries and wine (hey, that sounds delightful!). Everywhere you look, gifts galore. Mom’s wear many hats, and it should be a day that is much anticipated with the handmade trinkets and Cheerios in bed served by the kids.

However, for some of us, all these things remind us that our mom’s are no longer amongst us on this earth. Some of us do not look forward to delivering gifts from the grandkids, but instead are delivering flowers to a grave and talking to a headstone wishing it could talk back. Understandably, all of society will not stop celebrating (and they shouldn’t), but it’s always a tough question this time of year. Please do not assume because someone is “young”, they still have living parents. Sadly, things happen to people of all ages.

My mother and I were different people, there were few things we both liked. We butted heads most of the time. I never got to a place where I could talk with her on a woman to woman level. Considering our differences, I’m not sure that we ever would have achieved that level of openness; but perhaps we could have had healthy debates and agree to disagree. Who knows, but at least my sons would have had their MeMaw. A treat that they will never get to know. All they will ever have are photos, stories of memories, and trips to the cemetery.

Despite how different we were, during the throws of labor with my oldest son; there was a point where I just stopped and thought….I WANT MY MAMA! Memories do not help in situations such as these. When my second son was close to delivery I was frequently asked “will your parents be keeping your older child when this one is born?”. Cue the cringing and muscle tightening. I would briskly mention that my mom was not alive, then eventually I learned to say “both my parents are passed on”, because the next question after asking about my mom, was “is grandpa a good babysitter” or some variation of that question.

This Mother’s Day, even if you do not “get along” with your mom, call her, buy her a $.50 card from a dollar store, let her grandkids pick out a $1.00 balloon for her. I promise you there will be a day when she is no longer here. That day might be thirty years away, or it might be tomorrow. Life is cruel and we never know what tomorrow holds.

Headstones do not talk back.