“Mom, if I could talk to you just one more time I’d tell you how utterly devastated I was when you passed away. It’s sort of like knowing it’s possible for your house to catch on fire and yet when you’re standing in the midst of flames threatening to melt your skin off, with smoke burning your lungs all you can think is, “This is NOT happening right now.” If I wasn’t a mother at the time I probably would have just sat down in my personal hell and let the flames lick the tears from my face. It was motherhood that saved me. Kids have a funny way of wanting to be fed. If I didn’t have to get up every morning and take care of them, it’s possible I’d just lay there forever hoping to wake up in a world you were still in. Days like this morning when I feel like I’m failing my kids, I want so much to pick up the phone and talk to you. I want to ask you how you survived all those times I rolled my eyes at you or told you awful things like how mean or unfair you were. I wish I could take it all back, because I get it now. I know what it takes to be a mother and it’s so very hard to walk this road without you. It’s so much harder than the many tasks that go into taking care of kids, it’s the emotional roller coaster, the frustration, and the moments you feel like you just might lose your mind. I’m no stranger to grief. We’re old pals that go way back to when I was 14 and lost my dad. And yet there is something profoundly unfair about being a mother without a mother. You’ll never put your arms around me again and just hold me until I can’t cry anymore. I wish I could thank you again for helping me to figure out how to become a mom when my oldest daughter was born. Those nights you watched her, staying up all night to feed her downstairs so that I could have just a few nights of uninterrupted sleep may just be the only reason I didn’t go completely insane from sleep deprivation. Thank you for not telling me how silly it was to insist on changing her diaper before every feeding at night. I had to figure it out on my own and you knew that. I would also tell you that it’s ok that you weren’t perfect. I turned out fine, though maybe my kids would challenge me on that. I can appreciate now how hard it is to love someone who tells you they don’t love you and how mean you are. I know they are just words spoken in anger, but it’s hard not to let the words slice my heart to pieces. I know what it’s like to be angry too and yet I would never in a million years wish these three amazing kids weren’t mine. Kids have a great way of only seeing their perspective, until perhaps they have kids of their own someday. I remember when I called you from work crying over my horrible day. I’m sure when you first picked up the phone you were excited to hear from me. You probably thought I was calling to wish you a Happy Birthday. You must have been so disappointed that I didn’t even remember because I was so wrapped up in my own feelings. Yet at the time you said nothing. You just listened and let me vent about my day. That’s what it means to be a mother. You put what you needed on the back burner. You put me first. Now that I’m a mother I know what it means to put my kids first, but it takes a heavy toll sometimes. I miss having a mother of my own to put me first. I suppose it’s the circle of life, but it truly sucks. I miss the selfishness of my pre-children years where I could just have the stomach flu and not still have to get up and take care of a baby and two other children. There isn’t really time to dwell when I’m feeling bad. There isn’t always time to take care of me at all. I became a mother before most of my friends, and I lost my mother long before them as well. It’s almost Mother’s Day and all I really want is the gift of having a mother again. Instead I will try and remind myself that time filters out so many of the faults and love fills in the cracks of memory. I will try to remember that what made you a great mom was not that you did everything right, but simply that you were mine. I’m sure I will fail my kids, but I will never stop trying. I will never stop loving them just like I’ll never stop loving you. I will love them for no other reason except the most beautiful one – they are mine.

By Erin Johnson from Huffingtonpost.com – www.thenodramamama.com