An empty plate with a fig and a white towel on the table

My body woke me up to say: It’s that time of year again.

I settled in, reacquainted with the ache
It’s Mother’s Day without you: Chapter Eleven. 

The ache poked fun at me and my silly mistake
Of assuming it would just disappear.
Of assuming that my sorrow wouldn’t wake. 

I miss your syrupy charm and the stories that I’ll never hear.
Happy Mother’s Day to you my angel.
Those words taste a little different this year. 

I purposely forgot that initial spoonful,
Sprinkled with the salt from my tears of your memory
I gnawed, swallowed, fought bitter aftertaste, but I never really got full. 

I knew this day would never have the same energy,
And that I would always wonder what if.
I guess I usually dread it so much because it triggers my curiosity. 

Should I get lost in antique shops and thrift?
If you were here, that’s probably what we’d do.
We’d brunch and shop, find the perfect piece, and I’d try to call it your gift. 

Maybe not. I’m not sure anymore. My fears always sneak into my rearview.
The threat of losing your stories, your essence.
That every year I’ll lose a bit of you. 

I often think back to that first day without your presence.
Just 18 and full of unanswered questions.
One minute we’re talking, the next you’re gone, all in what felt like eons of seconds.

Choking on questions of life and love and digesting my reflections.
Wondering how to let you rest without letting you go,
And if you could still teach me life’s important lessons. 

It took 10, bittersweet spoonfuls and some scraps for me to grow,
And several journals lined with letters to you,
Plus thousands of heart talks, for me to know

That I could exchange anxiety for trust because your messages will always come through.
That I should savor my feelings, the ache, and I’d be OK no matter how painful.
And yes, there would be times I’d lose myself, but when I find me, I’d find you, too. 

So, I say Happy Mother’s Day to you my angel.
Those words taste a little different this time around.
Less bitter, and a little more sweet like the syrup from a maple.

And I hear your voice in my ear, light and soothing in sound,
Saying I don’t have to dread this day anymore.
I can sincerely savor every feeling found.

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

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