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  • Writer's pictureerinwalter

Mother's Day isn't one size fits all...

As a kid, Mother's Day was one of those days you had some type of tradition surrounding it.

You see, I am a child of the 70’s and those memories included making breakfast in bed for my mom ( without any encouragement from my dad )and some type of homemade piece brilliance (which was absolutely horrible but made mom smile.)

Little did I know I would only have 16 of those celebrations.

I could continue on writing how horribly broken and complicated my grief was but instead I’d like to walk through the lessons I learnt from being a motherless daughter for 12 years to a motherless mother the last 23.

I have come to realize that grief is a lifelong lesson. The death of a mother in your teens presents you with so many unknowns. You have no clue how this death will impact your life forever because as a teen you are only in the moment and death brings you to the big picture of how fast life can change.

This journey ( I despise the word journey… that’s for another time) doesn’t come with a rainbow at the end but with scratches, bruises, tears and heartbreak that are silent.

Believe me there are incredible days of joy and pride too, I only wished I could have shared it with my mom. My road continues to this day and so much still to learn.

I look at my two young adult children and wondered did I do it, how did we survive, what strength did we gather to get ourselves to the next stepping stone?

Mother’s Day can be bittersweet.

What Mother’s day has taught me … is to breathe.

Some years are harder than others and that is simply okay.

So what does Mother’s day mean to me?

I reflect on how am I as a mom. Both my parents have died, all my grandparents and several other very prominant beautiful souls in my life. I have been tested and challenged as a mom. I struggled with trying to do it all and being perfect and these last few years tested me in ways I could not have never imagined. Because even though my mom was not perfect, I tried my best to model her morals and values and that proved to be ambitious at times.

This is what I want my kids to know about me being a motherless mother:

1. I struggle to be "the classic mom". I’m still learning everyday. Being a mom doesn’t come from a book. It comes from all the women mentors in my life to help guide and support me. It comes from my heart. These women/mentors come with their own life stories and battle scars so I truly honour them.

2. I want to be there, present in your lives because I know what the feeling of absences is.

I choose to make you a priority,

3. I care because I love you. I question, disagree with you, challenge you because I care and that has never changed.

4. I did my best. That I gave 100% and on the days I gave only 60% I realized I had to change and made tough choices which not only impacted me but others.

5. To be grateful everyday. PERIOD. No excuses.

6. Everything that has been thrown at you, will serve you in the future. TRUST ME. It's definitely hard and messy when it happens and you will get through it.

7. That I was not an athlete and raising athletes was a predicament for me. I am the biggest fan to you and other athletes in my life. I push myself physically because I saw what can be accomplished with a decision.

8. I beam with pride and joy daily about the both of you even when I wanted to argue with your decisions.

9. Raising a daughter and son … is different but a good different. I celebrate your unique personalities.

10. Teaching you to cook, clean, laundry, drive, to give back, to look for the opportunity and not the excuse, that we have rules, morals and ethics are life lessons I want to have as basic life survival skills. These will always come into play throughout your whole life.

11. Kindness will always serve over cruelty. If you have nothing good to say, be quiet.

12. I try each day to be better than the day before and somethings those decisions to be better were the toughest of my life.

13. I tried to expose you to different cultures, walks of life and experiences to help you see there is more out there. The world is the most powerful teacher.

14. I am crappy at self care but I am better as you can not give from an empty cup.

15. I would do it all over again, because to change one thing means everything would change.

16. I ’m your biggest supporter and advocate. I have learned more about sport injuries, brain development, medical system, technology, fashion, trends and anything else you both were interested in. OMG even snapchat.

17. I have made tons of mistakes, but from those mistakes I have learned and grown. I’m perfectly imperfect.

18. I pray. I pray a lot . I believe and even though God and I don’t see eye to eye at times, my faith has always been there.

19. Being a mom was my choice. Many never get the opportunity. I have always been so filled with gratitude to be your mom.

20. Grief comes in all forms, somedays I am so incredibly proud of the woman I have become and other days my internal grief feels so heavy. The little voice in my head always tells me, what would you tell your kids to do?

This was not meant to be sappy but a reflection on how Mother’s Day can have multiple layers and it’s not a one size fits all.

On this Mother’s Day take pause to the women around you.

Think about their stories, their dance and reach out.

Scroll through your contacts and reach out to 3 people today.

Let them know they mean something to you.

Have that courageous conversation, be vulnerable and go bravely.

Continue to breathe


**if you the reader is suffering, reach out to your family, friends or mental health team for support. The first step can feel scary but being heard and supported is vital to your well being.

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