The first Christmas without Mom was hard to say the least. My Mom loved Christmas…..I think 90% of the attic was full of Christmas decorations. Losing Mom was completely unexpected. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. The last thing we did as a family was decorate the house for Christmas….we had to go on and celebrate…….for her.
The day was incredibly difficult, but we had something to focus on, my nephew. This was his first Christmas and we were determined to enjoy it. After Mom had died, we found that she had already done a bit of Christmas shopping (mostly for her first grandchild of course). So, the morning of Christmas, my sister presented those few gifts to us. Hard moments.
There were 2 gifts under the tree that neither my sister or myself recognized. One for each of us. As we opened them, tears started flowing. I looked to my Dad…..he explained that he had found these in the back of their closet. I stared down at the beautifully bound book and opened it. It was a book for a mother to fill out about her life……about her own parents, her marriage, her children, and so much more.
It was empty.
She meant to fill out out…..but she didn’t know how short her time would be.
As I’ve looked over that book the past few years, I realize I don’t know some things about my mom. Silly things, important things, sentimental things. You think you know it all until you can’t ask. Did she experience morning sickness when pregnant with me? I wondered that as I was sick for 5 full months! But, I couldn’t ask.
I have a daughter now. She never knew her Grandma. Knowing full well that life is not fair and doesn’t always turn out as we hope, I have begun to fill out that very same journal my mom left me. I now fill it out for my daughter.
It was one of the best gifts Mom ever gave me.
God forbid, if something unexpected takes me away from my little girl, I want her to know who I am, my beliefs, my silliest moments, how I fell in love with her Daddy, how I made it through the darkest days of losing my own mother, and my best advice (and recipes too)! I hope she’ll receive it when she’s old and gray. And I hope it’s one of the best gifts I ever give her.
Mother’s Day is coming up……and I hope most of you have mothers to spoil with gifts and love. And if you have children of your own, please think about preserving for them something they’ll treasure forever.
Here are a few:
There are also journals for Dads and Grandparents too.
A Father’s Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words
A Grandparent’s Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words
It’s in question/answer form with plenty of space to write. It’s still a work in progress for me, but I try to answer to a few questions each week.