Never Give Up the Opportunity

“I’m not attending that,” one of my best friends responded across the diner table. It was the wee hours of the morning and we had told her it was going to rain on the event she had planned for the following day. She wasn’t attending the rain. She said this as if she had a choice. As if she got an invitation in the mail and chose to RSVP with regrets… to the weather. She wasn’t attending. I love that girl.

A week ago, I sat at Lava Java, signed up for the Sharing Network 5K and wrote what seemed like a stupid blog post… but these things broke me. It all became real, so much more real. She’s not here anymore. Mothers’ Day is this week. I decided I wasn’t attending that.

I began to prepare myself for the inevitable heartache that was sure to be mine. I must stop Sunday from coming… but how? I spent the rest of the week mentally preparing and praying and crying. Sunday still came, but my emotional preparation protected my heart in equally satisfying and scary ways.

All week I was confused about what day it was. I simply got it wrong and remained confused. I decided slash realized that I wouldn’t be able to skip a whole day; I just can’t sleep that long anymore. So I made the decision to go about my Sunday as usual.

Mom had always told us that every day was Mothers’ Day for her. She just loved everyone being together. She was such a saint. Historically, my family works on Mothers’ Day because we are in the hospitality industry. Mom didn’t mind. She would hold down the fort at home, Grandma and Pop and some family would be over, and after work we would all hang out. It was simple, but she was happy to just be together. It didn’t matter what day it was. It was just about being together.

It was so nice to have family around this weekend. My sister, brother and I hung out at the bungalow, did crafts, played computer games, and watched some awesome movies. As we were watching our third movie late Saturday night, and the clock turned 12:34 I got so excited! “Ahhh! 12:34! Let’s take a picture!!” We were together in my bungalow hanging out – it was so fun! Yet, this request was met with clear frustration that took me by surprise.

“Do you not like it when I take 12:34 pictures?”

“No, it’s just late and I don’t want to take a picture…”

I dropped it, but I felt so sad and weird. My head started spinning: am I annoying? Do people hate that I do this? Does this upset my family? Is this hurtful? This brings me so much joy! Should I stop? Does it really bother them this much? and then I remembered… it was Mothers’ Day. I had forgotten.

This moment could have been so much worse. But, true to the way Mom raised us, myself and my siblings didn’t give up the opportunity to keep our mouths shut. It would have been easy for them to say they didn’t want a picture because it was Mothers’ Day, but they didn’t. It would have been easy for me to push them to take a picture anyway, but I didn’t. We listened to each other and we responded – we didn’t react – to what was said. Mom would be proud.

I’m so grateful that my siblings have the quick thinking gene and were able to preserve my heart in that moment. We continued on with our weekend and just focused on being together, going with the flow, and doing what would bring us joy.

Mom was right. Every day is Mothers’ Day. We think of her everyday and miss her everyday. Some days are tougher than others; the grief ebbs and flows. The bad days can come out of no where and they knock us down. So while the days that are marked on the calendar can be extra painful, at least we know they’re coming, can decide to not attend, and choose to spend that time together.

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