It’s safe to say that Hallmark has reached South America. As soon as Pascua (Easter) ended, not only did I miss out on the usual half price Easter chocolate (if they don’t mark it down what did they do with it? Throw it away? How was half priced holiday candy not a thing here? End chocolate rant) but the switch was flipped – Feliz Día de la Madre.It’s inescapable. From Peru to Colombia, every shop window, grocery store, Facebook ad, Instagram post has a reminder to get something for mamá. Clothes, chocolate, jewelry, perfume – all things I would have liked to buy my mom – if she was alive.It didn’t help that we were in two of South America’s largest capital cities – Lima, Peru & Bogotá, Colombia. It certainly would have been a little more subtle if we had remained in the Colombian fishing town of Taganga or up in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the jungle village of Minca. But still, Instagram has “I heart Mom” stickers to add to your story.
I’m not typically one to be bitter, but the best way I can think to describe this upcoming Mother’s Day is like celebrating Valentine’s Day after an awful breakup. It just hurts. The innocent chocolate display in the store leaves you with a pit in the bottom of your stomach and another reminder of the hole in your heart.As my first motherless Mother’s Day, I know the sorrow associated with the holiday will soften as time goes on. Unintentionally, but gratefully, I will be getting as far away from consumerism on actual Mother’s Day – spending five days on the open ocean sailing from Cartagena, Colombia to the San Blas Islands in Panama.No Wifi, no “make reservations for Mother’s Day brunch ads,” no problem. Just the ocean and the islands. I will be busy working on a tan that my mom would have approved of (although she still would have out tanned me).
I know I’m not alone in the pain, as I’m sure my siblings have shared the burden and terribly I’ve had other friends lose their moms this year too. I apologize for those of you who can’t escape in this manner – my heart is with you.While spending a night at Casa Elemento (home to the largest hammocks in the world – or maybe Colombia?) up in the Sierra Nevada range last Saturday night, I had a dream I was in our hostel room talking to my mom on my phone (even though there is definitely no service there, not even Wifi – apparently, none are needed to call from heaven) telling her about our cool hostel and our experience there. One girl in the room was talking about how far away her mom was, and I thought how mine was a lot farther and didn’t know how I would explain this if she asked where my mom was, when another girl in the room burst into tears saying that she never had a mom in her life.While it didn’t take this dream to realize how fortunate I have been (and am), it was definitely a reminder to help combat my new anti-Mother’s Day sentiment. I realize how blessed I am to have had such a wonderful, selfless, caring, intelligent, strong, beautiful, thoughtful, fun, fashionable, goofy, giving, and loving mom in my life for 25 years – something I know not everyone had the opportunity to experience.
For those of you lucky enough to have a mom on this planet, here’s a friendly reminder to tell her that you love her. And even more importantly than spending money on your mom this Mother’s Day, spend TIME with her. Even if you can only accomplish this through Skype.
There are still many other important mothers in my life and I want to say happy Mother’s Day to them. It takes a village and I’m very proud of the strong women who have supported me.And if by some chance, you can read my blog from heaven Mom (since you seem to be able to call me in my dreams when I didn’t have reception ;)), I love you, I miss you, I carry you with me always (Mother’s Day or not), but even so – Happy Mother’s Day.