It happened again this year. Foraging through the greeting card aisle looking for just the right Mother's Day cards for the women I adore. I'll admit it, Mother's Day is not a simple holiday for me. It is a one that fills me with love and gratitude and grief.....all rolled up into a 45 minute roller coaster of emotions that leaves me fighting back tears, biting my lip and taking a deep breath when I'm done, in the card aisle no less.
How do you find the perfect card to say thank you to the abundantly loving, generous, stylish, talented mother, Jeri, who adopted me at 3 days old and took to mothering so naturally from that first moment in the hospital? Thank you is never, ever enough for this endless gift of love.......
How do you find the perfect card for the optimistic, fun loving young woman, Marcia (my birth mother) who struggled and grieved her own path through an unplanned pregnancy and the painful adoption of her first born? Thank you is never enough for her courageous choices.
I realize, with fresh pain, that I will not be able to find a card for my mother in law, Margie, who passed away just over a year ago. She was loving, talented and lots of fun and oh, how we miss her.
I am reminded of my own losses and the devastating miscarriages that rendered me "not the mom" I had always dreamed of becoming (Why is that lady crying in the aisle, Mommy?). Sigh......it happens to me every single Mother's Day.
I see some rather lame cards for 'stepmothers' down on the lower shelf and, though, it is so touching to be acknowledged as a step-mom, it must feel a little bit awkward for my 3 step-daughters. Thank goodness for texting and I'm grateful for some sweet ones that have come my way on Mother's Days past. I'm also grateful that Briana, Lauren and Annika have a loving mom and lovely grandmother in town and that they will be able to celebrate together, as all 3 of the girls are living back in Chico this year.
I see cards for Aunties and I pick one up for my special Aunt Yvonne who lived near me a year ago but is now living back in Southern California. I'm grateful we had a couple of years of frequent visits over lattes and lemon bars.
I see cards from "your pet" on mother's day. Hallmark-you'll try anything, right? And I laugh out loud as I remember the card that my loving husband, who deeply understands my mixed emotions, brought to me with coffee in bed last mother's day......embellished and personalized.......
(Yes, I've been holding out on you.....I do have a child, a rather large, very furry one, named Jack. I'm really not even a cat person, but what can you do? He's hysterical...and quite the looker).
And finally, I smile and maybe even laugh out loud again when I think of my sisters and their healthy, happy, bouncy, beautiful, smart, energetic and adorable kids, ranging from ages 3 to 24. To Heidi, my adopted sister who I grew up with, made mischief with, fought with, love and absolutely adore. Thank you for inviting me to be there for your firstborn, Jordan's, birth. It meant the world to me. Dorie, my full biological sister, who I met 17 years ago, and Andrea, my brother's wife, who have both been so good to me and made me feel like a very special auntie. My deepest thanks for sharing your wonderful kids with me. I do adore being an auntie and you girls did a wonderful with the babies!
And I remember, with a sigh, as do we all do........that you can't have everything. Just having some perfect slices of life means something, and we so we carry on.
When I have a bit of time for planning, my favorite card giving always comes from Greeting Card Universe, my cousin Mindy and her husband Nasser's company. I love creating my own photo cards or having an artist create something special for me. It's the best.