I love memories. When asked as a child what my favorite hobby was, I would always reply, “Collecting memories.” It isn’t just about the clicks, snips, and glue to make a photo album or scrapbook. It is about the exhilarating feeling when a memory is ignited by one of the five senses. Remembering sweeps the mind into a swirling whirlwind of titillating yet surreal emotions.
Mother’s Day sends my head reeling and my heart yearning. There are different stories I could focus on for this Mother’s Day reflection. I could reflect on how I spent my first Mother’s Day in a closet with Bo because of a tornado threat (funny story, actually). Or I could reflect upon the warmhearted welcome home Mother’s Day of 2010… the comforting feeling of finally coming home with Bo after a lengthy 8-month hospital stay. Or I could reflect upon my internal confliction of emotions I felt on my first Mother’s Day after Bo’s passing, which is also the day I found out I was pregnant with his sister, Heidi.
Although I never want these memories to fade or evade me, I do not wish to focus on them. And although reminiscing reminds me of what I’ve been through, my heart will only continue to heal as I move forward and live in the now – enveloped by both commemorative and present love. So for this Mother’s Day, I’d like to draw my attention to the very person who shaped me as the mother I am today. She is my rock; she is my pillar of strength; she is Catherine Matthews, my mother. She sacrifices her days, nights, weekends, finances, and even her own well-being for my own. She spent many sleepless nights before and after work to travel every single day to the hospital to visit Bo and me and to make sure our needs were met.
I try to put myself in my mother’s shoes. My mother watched as her daughter went through a heartbreaking and unimaginable tragedy… and there was nothing she could do to protect her little girl. My mother not only lost her grandchild but also saw her daughter’s heart breaking into pieces. As a mother myself, I look at my own daughter and imagine the pain. Recently, doctors discovered that my mom has a brain aneurysm and I find myself remembering all too well how each day we take for granted our mortality.
From my home to yours on this Mother’s Day, I encourage everyone to remember that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Surround yourselves with those you love and collect memories.
Happy Mother’s Day,
This Mother’s Day, please consider giving to the Bowen Story fund in honor of Bo’s grandmother, Catherine.