This is one of my favorite photos of Ma. I had just given birth to my daughter and my mother wanted to sit in the hospital bed to hold her. I willingly gave up my spot so she could take in the wonder and miracle of her youngest grandchild.
It was one of those fleeting moments where I wished I’d have had the energy and mindset to take it all in. Exhausted and with an IV full of pain meds, I only have a fleeting glimpse of this moment.
My father did, however, and snapped this one.
It’s very easy to push things to the back of your mind when you’re traveling and spend hours on the road to a destination, i.e., the garbage needed taken out before we left (better remind Mr. Locke) or crap, I needed to pay a bill online before we left so I’ll have to jump online first thing when we hit the hotel room. But there’s one memory I refuse to let escape me: my mother. She loved to travel as much as I do and I there’s do doubt in my mind that I take my wanderlust from her. I never not remember taking road trips with our family, tucked away in the backseat of our Ford. I never not remember driving from Northern Maine to Ohio for three days straight and knowing that when the heat started setting in we were close.
And I’ll never not remember my mother on every vacation I take.
Since my mother passed away 6 years and 8 days ago, on every trip there’s always that moment when I stop, really take a look around, and think, “My God. Ma would have loved this view.” Just last week The Kid and I were road tripping the Carolinas and as I stood on the beach at the Atlantic Ocean, I couldn’t help but remember how much see loved the sea. She grew up in New Brunswick, Canada right next to the ocean and that’s where she truly felt at home.
So what do I do on Mother’s Day? After she passed, I felt a twinge of jealousy for my friends and even those that I don’t know well when photos of beautiful dinners and family gatherings popped up in my Facebook feed throughout that Sunday. Now, although the wrenching gut pangs of sadness aren’t quite as severe and I smile more when I think about her than tear up, I actually revel in the fact that others around and beyond my age still have their mothers to give flowers to and take to dinner. I look forward to the photos in my social media feeds. They make my heart swell up with memories of my amazing dinners and flower deliveries.
And I make sure that my The Kid knows how much I love her as my daughter and like her as a person.
Tomorrow will be another Mother’s Day when I’ll be creeping on your Facebook pages, so upload as many photos as you can to show off your amazing time spent with your mom. I can’t wait to see them.