How I Get Through Mother’s Day, Without My Mother

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I remember my first Mother’s Day without my mother (if you’re a new reader, she went to Heaven in 2013). Holidays and birthdays were torture for me. Christmas is still a doozy because my mother adored that holiday. Like, her adoration brought out the most obnoxious decorations imaginable.

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But Mother’s Day was that “if you’re available” kind of holiday. She didn’t make a big stink about it, so “if I was available” I’d come home for her infamous homemade Maryland crab cakes, fried cabbage and potato salad. When she passed I deeply missed that option of “if you’re available” come enjoy my company and grub on my infamous homemade Maryland crab cakes, fried cabbage and potato salad.

Through my grieving process, I realized that I had to re-imagine the love my mother and I had shared. 

My Aunt Katy is my favorite aunt (she’s my dad’s sister). What’s even more hilarious and endearing about that is that the feeling is totally mutual. She will tell you, without pause, that I am her favorite niece. It’s her greeting announcement whenever I walk into the room. My Aunt Katy has been instrumental in my grieving process, specifically getting past the hurt that I felt on Mother’s Day.

Through my Aunt Katy, I was able to see the love that I still had here. Because of her love for me, she picked up all those broken pieces from the void of my mother. And sure she can’t put that fixture of love back together again (I mean, it was my mother ya know!), its nice to have someone help me carry those broken pieces.

And for that I thank my Aunt Katy.

Of course I am going to visit her this Mother’s Day but I will not be coming just to enjoy some infamous homemade Maryland crab cakes, fried cabbage and potato salad. I decided to get her a gift to show her how much I appreciate her. She’s read my blog and stalks me on Facebook so I can’t actually show you the gift until after the holidays. But I wanted to at least share with you the Hallmark Signature Mother’s Day card that I picked out.

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Normally I hate picking out cards. It’s depressing and boring at the same time. Some cards are filled with meaningless words and others send me into a bubble-snot crying fit. But this trip was super easy. The Hallmark sign was visible from the moment you entered the Walgreens. So I didn’t need to ask a sales associate where the card aisle was. My local Walgreens is also right off the subway. #Winning

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There were so many card selections featuring our fellow brown girl beauties, which totes made me smile. I love that I can walk into a store and buy something that reflects me. After swooning over all the black girl imagery, I opted for a card that spoke directly to my needs.

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I found a card generic enough for the love I share with my Aunt on Mother’s Day (because, she’s technically not my mother) but specifically explained my love!

#WontHeDoIt

Also, it’s gold and white. And you know that makes everything better! So…you’ve got just a few days to head out and grab a card that personifies your love for your mom! Here’s a tip: Walgreens has great Mother’s Day cards 🙂


Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #HallmarkAtWalgreens #CareWithACard campaign, sponsored by Hallmark at Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

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20 Comments

  1. May 4, 2016 / 8:22 am

    I can only imagine what it feels like like not to have your mother with you on Mother’s day but it is nice to see that you are still and will always be loved. Keep smiling 🙂

    • May 8, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      Hey Ty Alexander! I read your story on yahoo news about how you were coping. I lost my mother at the age of 12 in 2003 so Mother’s Day I never celebrated. Until this year. Today I celebrated my very first Mothers Day and I was happy and sad because she can’t meet her first grandchild. I was asked how was my first Mothers Day, I said it was ok I just wish I could be with my mom. And the person said why you want something that can’t happen which I thought was very insensitive.

  2. Sony Loren
    May 4, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    As always, your words have touched my heart. #fellowjourneyer

  3. May 4, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    YAY Aunt Katy! and yassss for those Black people cards 😉

  4. Nicole Denise
    May 6, 2016 / 11:43 pm

    I don’t remember how or when I began following you on social media but I’m very glad I did. You are an amazing lady Ty. Not sure if I ever mentioned but I too am from Baltimore, I was born in Sinai Hospital 🙂 Both my mom and dad families from Virginia Avenue. My grandmother lived in Cherry Hill for many years. Sorry I’m babbling, again I’m glad I found you and will support in anyway I can. btw I LOVE my coffee/tea mug just wish it was just a little bigger.

  5. DeAnna Tenney
    May 8, 2016 / 4:46 am

    This will be my first mother’s day without my mom. It is unbelievably difficult. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been searching for healthy ways to cope with losing her. I’m going to take cards and a letter to her grave today.

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:25 am

      Do different things. Some things will not work, others will! Grief is ALL trail and error. XO

  6. May 8, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    Dear Ty:

    Thanks so much for your very moving post. We lost my mother-in-law about a week ago, just before Mother’s Day this year, and it has been very difficult for my husband, especially today. You post really warmed both our hearts.

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:24 am

      You’re the reason why I share. I know that people need assurance (often) that they can get through this. It’s a difficult experience but if you allow your love for her to overcome the pain, grief will not be a daunting experience but rather JUST the price you have to pay for her love.

  7. May 8, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    I just lost my little mom on October 1, 2015 she was killed crossing the street. Mom was supposed to come live with me not because she had to but I wanted her closer to me. She wouldn’t leave California but her eldest sister, my aunt, passed in that June. 2 more weeks she would have been safe with me, her son. She was 78, but in good health. I had her cremated so she’s with me now so I hugged her this morning you know I cried everyday til about a month ago now its like once week. I do have a couple of great photos of mom and me which I will cherish forever. Mothers day will forever be a sad day for me. Anyway for all of us who have lost our mother the way we can honor her is to be the good person she wanted you to be and be kind to every mother possible whenever and where ever you can.

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:23 am

      It’s still early in your grieving process. Remember there is a difference between pain and suffering. Always choose the latter, it’s a much better experience. I’m hopeful that it will get better for you! XO

  8. Carol Harper-Holden
    May 8, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    I lost my mom on August 19, 2015. I am feeling the lost so much today on this mother’s day. I am remembering all the love that my mom showered me with. I love you ma and I celebrate you on this day. You are not here in physical but but your spirit is with me always.

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:20 am

      I am hopeful that it will get easier for you. XO

  9. Beth Chaisson
    May 8, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    I lost my mom in 2014 to Alzheimer’s disease so I know the loss you’re talking about. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. The first mother’s day that passed after my mom died my dad and I went out to eat in memory of her since she loved to cook so much. This year we had an early mother’s day for my grandmother and aunt, since I live in Louisiana, we had boiled crawfish. I know you’ll understand what I mean when I say she’s never far from my mind, a day doesn’t go by I don’t think about her in some way. I don’t cry about it any more only because it’s good memories of her in the kitchen of us talking, or how she use to work her magic with her cooking. I have a few of her recipes and I can only hope to be just half as good as her. No Mother’s Day isn’t the same any more, but I find ways to make it work just like I’m sure you do. We all have our own ways.

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Beth this is exactly what she’s want you to do. And that’s what I try to keep in mind whenever I get sad. She’s want me to dream big and be happy! Here’s to making it through my love!

  10. Margaret
    May 9, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    I couldn’t help but cry as I read this blog. I too lost my mom in February 2013. After my mom passed away I stopped celebrating Mother’s Day. Reading Mother’s day cards send me into a fit of tears. I heard the song Dear Momma by Boys to Men Friday morning and almost did not make it to work. Reading this blog has help me to look at things a little differently. I have 3 wonderful aunties that have stepped up and done things for me that only my mother would have done and I am so grateful. I love them dearly. From now on I will celebrate the love that I still have here but keep the many wonderful memories that I have of my mom close to my heart. I can’t wait to see her again!!!

    • May 10, 2016 / 11:14 am

      It took me a while to get there but you can find that motherly love in other places. You have to be open to receiving it! There is a difference between pain and suffering. Suffering is a choice and I choose not to suffer anymore!

  11. Amreeta
    May 7, 2017 / 8:26 am

    Love your blog!!!!! Hope you have an amazing day celebrating your mom and your aunt! My mom always said she refuses to let the sadness take over when her dad passed. So we always have fun that day and laugh like maniacs.

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