It’s been a long 36 years since my mum passed away but there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of her.  Even after all this time the memories linger from my childhood.

The two most poignant days are Mother’s Day and her birthday…

We all focus on Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate our mum’s, but shouldn’t every day be that.  Why wait to remind us of what our mums mean to us?

I suppose it’s human nature to some degree, but we tend to take those that we love for granted more often than not.

And it isn’t until they become sick or pass away that we realize how much they mean to us… and invariably how much we miss them.

My mum was sick on and off during much of my childhood with a series of health-related ailments that over time became too much for her.

Mum had her first stroke at 56 (soon after this photo was taken – above) and from there everything went downhill relatively fast.  As the years have passed since she died it’s the milestones that have been missed which hurt the most.

In addition, the birth of Zach and Sam and not having the opportunity to meet them or have a relationship has been a huge void…

Another was to see me create a happy and successful life, full of accomplishments, travels, and adventures.

Mum was always worried that I was a dreamer and that I wanted too much in life…

If only she could see me now!

I suppose as parents we always worry about our kids, but I realized some time ago that they will find their own way in life.

And whether we, as parents worry about them or not means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of life, except cause angst and heartache for us.

In my mind the most important thing we can do for our kids is to impart strong values (walk the talk), be a great listener without judgement (super difficult at times) and be open to discussing absolutely everything no matter what.

Providing your insights and guidance, without telling them what to do worked really well for me, but this may be because of their maturity and emotional intelligence.

Each of us are different and therefore parent differently.

Yep, there is no user guide for being a parent!

We all do the best we can with what we have in front of us at the time.

That’s one thing that I realize about my mum and dad during my childhood – they were doing their best they could with what they knew and the circumstances that they had at the time…

Sometimes forgiveness is the most difficult part of a relationship with our parents.

Special days like Mother’s Day always tend to heighten the sense of loss for me personally, but I realize I’m not alone in that category.

After my dad passed away one of the first things that went through my head was that I was now an orphan.  Strange as that might seem I felt as if I no longer had an anchor point in my life.

With both of my parents gone it felt weird that what I once called home was now gone, I had no place to come back to because the people I loved were not there.

Home is always where the heart is!

It’s truly a strange feeling, and one that I still carry even though dad has been gone eleven years now.

Zach and Sam were able to meet and spend a little time with dad when they were young, but now have no recollection of him or my home. Just faded and distant memories.

As we reach this time in our lives more of us are beginning to experience the loss of a parent(s).

Clearly, something I’d never wish on anyone, but the fact is that social media for all its “ills” provides us with a platform to recognize and celebrate those that we love even if only fleetingly…

Whether they’re with us or have passed on is irrelevant, days like Mother’s Day allow us to sit back and reflect on the strength, beauty and soul of the individual who brought us into the world and guided us on our early journey.

No other person will have more influence on us that our mum or dad during our formative years although I do realize that not all parents are created equal and therefore some of us have difficult or uncomfortable memories of our mums or dads.

However, with time, and our ability to look past some of their foibles we can begin to appreciate all the little life lessons that they were able to impart on us.

Sometimes good, sometimes less so, but lessons nonetheless…

These lessons often become part of the fabric of who we are and for which we now pass onto our kids and those around us.  And each time I rediscover one of these I reflect back on the moment that mum or dad passed it to me.

Memories that last a lifetime.

Until next week