Lucy Jensen

Mother’s Day just passed us by in America and Australia. England celebrates theirs in March. Why the world can’t align days like this, I will never know. It’s probably along the lines of why humanity can’t get along with humanity; but I digress.

My mother has been traveling in Saint Elsewhere for over two decades now; and yet Mother’s Day does cast me back to vivid memories of her (though she would deeply criticize the holiday as a Hallmark occasion for selling stuff). It reels her into my existence on earth in a rather powerful way. I think about myself as a mother — birthed or not — to many creatures in my rescue community I call Solace. I contemplate my achievements in that arena and then I laugh, because we are only as good as our next deed, our next rescue.

This Mother’s Day — for the first time ever — I gave my daughter a present. In the larger scheme of things, she and I are the best of friends — we fight like best friends and laugh in our own language. She is my ying to her yang and vice versa. We can spit at each other like cats and we will call each other out when we think we should; but we are solid. It saddens me when mothers are estranged from daughters, when precious time is lost because of a stupid disagreement or misunderstanding.

Looking back, I wish I had had more time with my mother. In retrospect, we always wish we had more time. If I ever fall out with my daughter, I will get right back on the horse, as it were. We will have it out — truthfully, we might have a bit of a yelling match, as strong characters will — we will get our points across and then we will sit down and do something else. That is the nature of a healthy human relationship. If you are estranged from someone you love, please fix it. Call them, call them out; do whatever you deem necessary to break the silence and release the healthy energy back into the universe. Time waits for no one. Whoever goes first will regret the silence of eternity.

My other daughter, as I call her, lost her mum at a young age. I remember the day when I got the call. Time stopped for me in that moment; in the certain knowledge that this should happen to no young person. I lost my mother when I was 37 — I was grown, yet way too young. I always try to reach out to this young lady when I think she might be hurting; it’s an awful hand to be dealt and not one that fades over time. She has essentially grown up with no female adult at her side except for myself, I hope, and a few others. Definitely not the mother she still needs all these years later.

My sister’s friend Bella in Australia lost her son Barny. I think of her on Mother’s Day especially. Though she has other children, no one takes that unique place at the table and in your heart. You are still a mother to that complete family you imagined nothing would take from you. And then it did. You are fractured and broken, raging at the world. You are still a mother to all your children, but one has slipped just around the corner. This has not happened to me, but I can only imagine. Losing my sister had me about as broken as I could envisage.

My friend Barbara died at 40 — boom, just like that. She left behind her beloved daughter Nicole, who was just 11 at the time. Now Nicole is a mother herself and wonderfully fulfilled, but I know she looks at photos and feels the ache for the Mama who should be there at her shoulder, helping her with her children and enjoying the extended benefits of motherhood. I try to keep her Mama alive with her when I can. The memories keep us warm and extend the presence of our beloveds from their spiritual existences in who knows where down to us on earth. If we make the time to make it happen.

My father turned 92 recently and for many years in the past we would meet up with him on his birthday. This year, the same as last, this has not been the case; but not for want of trying! Oftentimes our birthday celebrations would be in Turkey. That was easier for my youngest sister Rosie, since she was likely having or recovering from treatment. Photos pop up on my social media around this time of happy days and moments captured on the iPhones — Rosie with some hair, no hair, lots of hair. I am so glad for these days we shared before everything broke apart and we were another one less at our special gatherings.

If you were a little shy of a person at the table this Mother’s Day weekend, you are not alone. The longer we live, the more we experience loss in our homes and at our family occasions. Cherish what you do have today and plan to safekeep valuable memories for tomorrow.

“Oh my … your Mum’s been gone 20 years? I am so glad I got to meet her … so fun … and a wickedly good orange marmalade maker,” said my friend Karen on Facebook. And whoosh, there I was back in my Mum’s tiny little kitchen, watching her boil sugar from afar.

None of us get the same allotment of time on this precious planet. Let the anger and the misery aside and make it all count while we are here. Time waits for no one. Look and listen for your beloveds’ spiritual essence on the wind, in the sunlight and on the water. There is not room for all the physical presences on the planet that we might wish, but some spirits likely fly super close to the ground.

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Soledad columnist Lucy Jensen may be reached at [email protected].


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