I anticipated my son’s bar mitzvah with trepidation. Yes, I was looking forward to the service and celebration. But I was also dreading it and wondering if I would be a weepy mess, missing my mother.
Once the snow became a non-issue, the sun came out, everyone arrived from out of town as scheduled, and I felt tentatively excited and happy. Everything went as planned. My son did a wonderful job, as did the rest of our family and friends. I found myself “in the moment” during the service, very engaged, and happy. How could I not be happy? I was surrounded by so many people who love and care about me. And who knew my mother. They all assured me that a) she loved my outfit, and b) she was beaming with pride from up above.
I wore jewelry of my Mom’s throughout the weekend, and of course her coats. I could feel her style and panache channeling through me as I prepared for each event. I faltered when choosing a necklace to wear one night.
“Don’t over-think it,” my sister said. “Just go with it.”
Thank goodness for her grounding sensibility to keep me on track. Just like my mother would.
It occurred to me when the weekend was over that I felt more happy than sad. I was pleasantly surprised to feel that way. It makes me hopeful that I will feel fuller happiness as time goes on, without my mother in my life. I realize she is everywhere. In the love and nurturing I receive from my dear friends and family. In the way my dad, sister and I always ask, “What would Rita do?” In my children.
I am ever an optimist, like my mother, although a more cynical one. She lived every day to the fullest. And I will too.