Today I woke up from an afternoon nap with the quiet, low feeling I get that can make me weep if it lingers. May gray is taking its toll. This first Mother’s Day without my own is taking its toll as well.
I lay in bed for a while listening to Ryan in the front of the house and to the quiet in the back of the house while Eamonn slept a bit longer.
I am a daughter of unusual privilege. While losing my mommy this year, I had another mommy taking care of me. My mother-in-law, another mother extraordinaire, was thinking of me, praying for me, talking to me over the miles and then, when I asked in desperation, she and my father-in-law flew to be with us over Eamonn’s birthday, something I could not face without a grandma present. Packages began showing up at my door. Gardening tools and gloves, seeds, cards — outpourings of love. She, who has lost both her parents herself, thought of everything she could possibly send to ease some of my pain.
In among all of the other things, she sent me a carton of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. Not the big ones. Not the ones in the box. No, she knows me too well for that. She sent me a case of the mini-cookies that come in bags. I love them.
Ryan went to surf this evening, after a sweet morning and afternoon of all of us together. I held onto my empty feeling chest while he left, braced myself for my empty house, and held on to my son who woke from his own nap in weepy tune with my mood.
“Eamonn,” I said, “do you want to eat cookies with me?” He stopped mid-sob and looked at me with tears wet on his cheeks. “Cookie?” he said, hopeful that he had not misunderstood. “Okay, buddy. Go get in your chair. I’ll get us cookies.” He ran on his little chubby toddler legs and climbed up into his chair. “Cook-IE!” he hollered while I poured us milk and got out bags of cookies.
Normally we split a bag. Today we each got our own. We sat at the table with our glasses of milk and dipped cookies daintily into our milk, smiling at each other with chocolate smiles.
It was enough to fill my heart up a little bit, to fill in some of the cracks in my smile, to open my lungs back up so I could breathe. Not the cookies themselves, though mind you they were good, but just that process of sitting there enjoying a mother’s gift and the simple process of spending time with my son.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, as you are celebrating your first in the presence of the Savior. I am so happy for you. Happy Mother’s Day, Kathy, my second mother here. I am so glad I have you. I hope that as I mother Eamonn and any other children with whom Ryan and I may be blessed, I will lavish love upon them the way I have had love lavished on me.