I wrote out a birthday card for my daughter in law yesterday. It was a beautiful little card full of magic and wonderment. The thing is, I chose it for her because of my mom. It is the card I know my mom would have sent to me on my birthday. If she were still here with me. And when I spotted the card I just knew I had to send it to Christina. It was like the card chose us.

My mom passed away a year ago. She made it all the way until June 5, 2020. I had the good fortune, because of the pandemic, to spend every day with her, from March 5 until just a few days before her passing. Because of the pandemic, I was home teaching almost every single one of those days. Each day, I would have breakfast with my mom, go to “school” in the other room, and then spend the afternoons watching movies with her and chatting. She was struggling at that point, and she grew weaker as the time went by, be we were blissfully ignorant of the truth. The truth was, my mom was dying.

The end was peaceful for my mom. She was in the hospital. Her doctor sent her there on June 2, just 3 days before her last breath. She sent her there to help her get well. Because even then none of us knew the truth. My mom was dying. And, like I said, she passed on Friday, June 5. I was with her at the end which was only right. You see, I had been chosen to witness my mom’s final months, days, and hours. And because of the circumstances of Covid-19, I literally spent her last three months with her. Had we not been in a pandemic, had my brothers and I not felt the need to bring her to my house “just to be safe”, I don’t know what her last few months would have been like. But in actuality, they were lovely. Difficult at times, but magical.

So last summer, after losing my mom, I was in a card store and I saw the perfect card. For my mom. Wow, did I just about burst into tears right there in Walgreens! That would have been embarrassing! So instead I just averted my gaze from the Daughter cards and the Mom cards. There was no one left to send me a Daughter card and I wouldn’t be choosing a Mom card for my mom anymore. I kind of taught myself since that day to glaze over when in the card section of the store. I’m ok choosing a Mom card for my mother in law. She is a very special person. But I don’t dwell on the cards I would have chosen for my mom.

And that is what brings me round again to the card I chose for my daughter in law, Christina. Like I said, and like I wrote in her card, I felt like the card chose us. It was not a card I would have grabbed. It was a card my mom would have grabbed. It had “Alice” written all over it! But the card ended up in my hand and when I read it, yup, you guessed it, I almost burst into tears. But happy tears! Tears that told me everything will be ok. Tears that reminded me how special my mom and the cards she chose made me feel. Now it was my chance to show my daughter in law, my daughter, how important she is to me. We can’t allow the sadness of loss shadow our lives for too long. We have to turn to the people who have been chosen for us, the people we choose to love, and we need to let their light brighten our smiles again.

12 thoughts on “Chosen

  1. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your relationship with your mom with us and how each of you sustained one another unknowingly through times when you needed that – her cards through the years and your presence through her last season. This is a beautiful slice, full of the love and gratitude you have for each other, it spilling over into other peoples’ lives with something as simple as a card. Just lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry about your mother’s passing. Your story is sweet, and it is great that you appreciated spending time with your mother when she needed your support. I especially like the last two lines of your essay — so hopeful and so true.

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  3. This is so sweet and I have tears in my eyes as I write this comment. This is such an important point: We can’t allow the sadness of loss shadow our lives for too long. I wish you the best as you continue to heal from your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This has all the feels. So many different things can remind us of those we have lost. I have lost it more than once in a grocery store. I love that you choose something for your daughter (-in-law) that your mom would have chosen for her daughter. Those days were such a gift for you both. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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