Not Just Another Mother’s Day

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Last Thursday night I was sleeping when my daughter Jackie woke me to give me a mother’s day present. She was leaving for her alma mater at six on Friday morning to watch friends graduate and assured me she’d be home near two on Sunday so we could all have dinner. I told her none of this was necessary, but 22-year-olds are determined. Wrapped in a teal gift bag—our favorite color—was an I-Phone cover with pictures of her sister and her, Patrick and Cait, Xavier, my cousin Dean and Marcia, my niece Nikki and her family and a quote: “Family, we may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” Truer words….

Saturday my oldest daughter sent me a text asking if her family could come over Sunday to deliver Mother’s Day breakfast. Only weeks ago she gave birth to Colin, Patrick is 15 months old, and Caitlin is quick to remind us she’ll be eight in four months. How Jill wakes up (if she’s slept), dresses, feeds and cares for her brood, always with the infectious laugh and smile she lights the world with every day, is mind-boggling. Offering to add me to the list on Sunday is over the top even for someone who repeatedly proves there’s nothing she can’t achieve.

Mother’s Day has long been bittersweet for me. In my mind it’s a holiday to honor my mom, and even though the years she’s been gone now reach into the double digits, I haven’t come near mastering the maternal talents she selflessly shared every moment we were together. A day never passed where she didn’t talk to me about love, her capacity for it remains beyond description. But this Mother’s Day is a reminder she left me with a wealth of it. While she’s never further than my heart, neither are these other loves of my life. My family may be small enough to fit on the back of a phone cover but the love most certainly is not. I’m overcome with the generosity of both of my girls and today more certain than ever that just as my mom’s love remains with me, it lingers too in the hearts of her grandchildren—a priceless gift on any day.

May all of you have as heartfelt a Mother’s Day.

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