This October will mark seventeen years since my mother passed away. During this time my feelings surrounding Mother’s Day has been complicated to say the least. The first Mother’s Day after her death was extremely difficult as my grief was still fresh. I eventually began “ignoring” Mother’s Day because I believed that I couldn’t celebrate it because I was motherless. Outwardly I would pretend that Mother’s Day didn’t bother me but inside I was a mess. It would take me years of working through my grief to finally understand that her death could never erase the fact that she is my mother. Coming to that realization helped me to see that I could celebrate Mother’s Day again. Now on Mother’s Day I acknowledge that my mother is in me and all around me. I see her in my sister Renee’s smile. I can hear her in my sister Virgie’s laughter. I notice her twinkle in my sister Gingy’s eyes. I recognize her strong faith in my brother Andre. I see her face every time I look in the mirror. My mother’s physical body may be gone but her spirit continues to live inside her children and grandchildren. I celebrate her capacity to forgive, the sacrifices she made to ensure her children wouldn’t go without and how fiercely protective she was of us. I am eternally grateful for her making me into the woman I am today. I am extremely proud to be Betty Niles daughter and this is why I celebrate Mother’s Day.
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!