I so loved Coach Helene’s Mother’s Day email. But when I first received it, I couldn’t bring myself to go there. My emotions were high that day so I stayed very busy cooking with my daughters, celebrating my youngest grandbaby’s 1st birthday, and enjoying the beautiful family gathering. We had originally planned a pool party for little Sadie and her tiny soft plastic pool—it rained steadily all day long! There was a gift there. We all stayed intimately together eating, laughing, and sharing stories. Something our family had needed for healing. It was really perfect!
Today, three days after receiving Helene’s email, I opened it, and read The Lanyard (gift to my mother) by Billy Collins. The poem immediately brought a flashback of an important time in my life that I had buried deep in my heart.
I remembered a gift to my mother when I was about 11 years old. Money was scarce at that time. We lived in a tiny cottage…two bedrooms and 3 children. Mom and Dad were struggling with their relationship. We would soon be moving to a bigger house they were building. Lots of stress! Mama was such a gentle soul and very attached to my grandparents who had a little farm across the street and up the lane. She had such mixed feelings and was very sad, in tears most of the time.
Mother’s Day came and I had nothing to give her. I wanted to do something to cheer her. I went through old scraps of material and found a single pillowslip and some embroidery thread to create an “I Love You, Mama” gift. It took me all day. And when I finished it, I was sitting on the porch steps as she came out. I handed it to her smiling without saying anything. She took it, began to cry, said nothing, and went back into the house. I felt a little embarrassed and sad that what I had created wasn’t good enough to bring a smile or a hug. Nothing was ever said about my gift again.
Mama passed early 2009 of Alzheimer’s and her death certificate read ‘lost her will to live.’ Sadness kicked in for me…the child in me couldn’t fix my mama’s happiness so she would want to stay longer. Later as I was cleaning out her closets and chest of drawers, what came into my hands but the “I Love You, Mama” pillowslip! It was the best gift I could have received. I knew then in my heart that her tears were full of her love for that little gift and me. At that moment long ago she just couldn’t show it; and I just couldn’t see it. Maybe that’s because the loving gift was to be received much later.
I Love You, Mama.
Retreat Coach Sharon McWilliams | Wise Woman Essence