Making a Plan for my First Mother’s Day Without Mom

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I’m planning ahead this time. My birthday took me by surprise– I was so emotional the day before and the day of. I was missing Mom and at the brink of tears much of the time. I didn’t think my own birthday would hit me that way. But I’ve been somewhat dreading my first Mother’s Day without Mama. And now it’s nearing like an ominous black cloud.

So I thought I’d take some time to think and pray and prepare myself. And here’s what I’m thinking I’ll do, God willing…

I’ll remember that grief will be what it will be when it chooses to be. I can’t control if or when the waves of emotion hit.  I’m guessing Mother’s Day will be especially hard, but I could be wrong. Some days I can talk about Mom and feel strong. Other days I’ve had upbeat songs on comedy shows push me to tears! I just don’t know. But it’s okay. The Bible says, “There is a time to weep…” If it’s time, who am I to say it isn’t? It’s okay to cry when I need to. My friends and family will understand.

I’ll go to church, even though I know they will be talking about moms. I’ll go to worship God and to love my church family. I’ll remind myself that I still do have a mother, she’s just in heaven before I am. She trusted and loved Jesus and is with Him now having the best Mother’s Day she’s ever had!

I will take time to be grateful for the wonderful mother God blessed me with and for all the sweet memories we made together. I’ll look at some of our old photos. Maybe I’ll sing some of our favorite songs or write a letter to her. Maybe I’ll eat Pecan Delights because they were her favorites.

I will take time to enjoy being a mother and grandma. I will cherish whatever moments I have with my family. I will hug my grand-babies as much as they’ll allow and tolerate. I will kiss their chubby cheeks and delight in their charming ways. I will listen to my adult children and appreciate the people they have grown to be. I’ll even try to believe the sweet things their cards say. I will soak in the joy of seeing them together and feeling their hugs and love.

If weather permits, I plan to spend some time outside relaxing in sunshine and nature. I’ll picture how Mama brought me a small bouquet of lilacs and crab apple blossoms about twenty years ago, when my husband and I lost a baby to miscarriage. I found such comfort in those blooms grown in Mom’s own yard and picked by her own hand. I’ll pick my own bouquet and bury my nose in them and remember Mama’s love and thoughtfulness.

I’ll take some time to pray for others who are missing their Mama’s too. And I’ll pray for those who are struggling with other losses and hurts. I’ll pray for a mom I know who just lost her teenage daughter to suicide– a pain I can’t even imagine. I’ll pray for a dear mom friend who recently lost her own mother to cancer and now is facing her own scary cancer diagnosis with such faith and courage. I’ll pray for a young mom I know who is battling serious and debilitating health challenges. I’ll lift up family and friends to our  Abba Father who loves us all.

I’ll remind myself to depend on God’s grace. God gave me grace to get through more than eight years of Mom’s declining with Alzheimer’s. He gave me grace to keep her in her home and help care for her as she was fading away. He gave me grace to kiss her goodbye and sit down with my Dad and tell him myself that she had passed. He gave me grace and strength to do and bear things I never would have believed I could handle.

He will give me grace for each day, each hour, each moment of mourning that is yet to come. “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NKJV)

And finally, I plan to visit my Dad. And if I’m not choking up too much to speak, I want to tell him, “Thank you for picking such a wonderful woman to marry. She was an amazing mama and I’m forever blessed!”


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  1. I too, will be spending my first Mother’s Day without my mother. I have been reading your posts on God’s Grace and Mom’s Alzheimer’s for quite some time. I too, was going through the exact same thing with my mother. I found comfort in your posts knowing that I was not alone. I do know that when God calls our loved ones home, he leaves a gift of memories in exchange. Memories are a legacy of love, they are also the reason we can have roses in December. I will be thinking of you and praying for you this Mother’s Day. So sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you have been a blessing to others. Thanks for sharing. God Speed!!

    1. Thank you so much, Diana. It gives me much comfort to hear what I’ve shared encourages others. We aren’t alone. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. May God give you comfort and grace. ~Cheryl

  2. I lost my mom in March and so this is my first Mother’s Day without her. Your post was so healing to read. I will be praying for you. Our mothers await us in heaven!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Melanie. Mother’s are so precious and so missed. I’m thankful to hear this post was healing for you. And what a comfort to know we will see our mothers again! Thank you for your prayers. Praying for you, too. ~Cheryl

  3. Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts about your Mother. Twenty years ago on May 13th at 2AM my Mama went to live with God. She was a great Mother ,as yours, and gave me the greatest legacy of a Christian upbringing. I still miss her. Sometimes I ask God to give her a hug for me and tell her, my two sisters and brother that I love them and will see them soon.

    1. Thank you, Selba. We are blessed to have had such wonderful mothers and to know we will see them again. May God continue to give us grace until we see them again. ~Cheryl

  4. My mom died the day before my birthday in January this year. I have missed her personality for so many years, I’ve had a hard time feeling grief for her loss. My grief came in waves while she was still living but her mind was so different. I was advised by my pastor’s wife to find new ways to love Mom. It was very hard for me, because she was my best friend and the person I went to for talks and spending time. Now I only had a shell of the person I depended on and shared life.
    This is my first mothers day without her. It’s not the first mothers day that I’ve missed her.

    1. I understand, Kimbra. Grieving is a long process as Alzheimer’s progresses and so much mourning happens even while our loved one is still with us physically. And then we all grieve in our own unique ways, too. May god cover you in His peace and grace.

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