My Mother's Lesson for Life
On a snowy morning in Montreal, when I was four, not-quite-five, I was struggling to put on my big red rubber boots. My mother sat nearby and watched me, as I finally succeeded, enabling my independence. “I can’t wait until I turn five!” I said with pride for my accomplishment, knowing there would be more ahead. “Five is a very big number!”
And my mother replied in a way that seemed rather disappointingly to me then: “Don’t wish your life away.”
Just a few years earlier, my father had been praying to God for my mother’s life when she was very ill. And exactly eighteen years later from that time, chai years later, when I was nineteen, not-quite-twenty, my mother lost her life.
But my mother and her lesson have carried me through every struggle in my life since, struggles far greater than putting on my shoes. Her lesson enabled me to put on those shoes and go on with my day, no matter how dark that day or no matter how much I wanted another day I'd been wishing for to finally come.
On Mother’s Day, I will honor my late mother, now 24 years gone, by appreciating the second life God gave her and by appreciating the life my mother gave me by remembering to live my life fully as it is - not how I wished it would have been.
I am not where I expected to be at 44, still single, not a mother myself. But as the founder of Savvy Auntie, a lifestyle brand for women who love the children in their lives, specifically women who are not (yet) mothers, I wrote this prose that I always share this time of year:
Babies are born from the womb.
Maternity is born from the soul.
There are many ways to mother.
On Mother’s Day, I will remember that my mother enabled my independence which enabled her to mother me even after she had gone. Her lesson to her little girl made me appreciate my role as my nephew’s and nieces’ Auntie Melanie, a gift I am grateful for every single day, not one of which I ever wish away.