Today is Mother's Day, and although it's already 8 pm in my part of the world, I still felt compelled to write something for the holiday. This isn't the rudimentary Happy Mother's Day post. Instead, this is a very personal story about a sequence of events that occurred a couple of days ago.
I was contacted by a young female basketball player interested in having me train her. She inquired about my prices and how to go about scheduling sessions, and I gave her my website link and phone number to call me. In case she was nervous or shy about calling me herself, I offered the option to have her mother call. That's when the first bomb dropped. She wrote back that her mother was dead. I immediately felt terrible because I had met her mother last year along with her younger sister and didn't even consider the possibility that she was no longer with us. Further conversation led me to discover that both of her parents recently passed away in a car accident.
Upon hearing this, I was immediately consumed with grief. I held back tears until a coworker asked if I was OK. Then the tears started to flow. Why was I crying? I wasn't close with this young woman. I had only spoken with her a couple of times before.
Then the second bomb dropped. I received an instant message from a distant friend who informed me that her daughter, who was my daughter's friend while we lived in Mersin, Turkey, died in an accident on Monday. Again, tears.
I realized that I was so grief-stricken because I empathized with both families greatly. I don't even want to think about the day my own mother passes. Also, as a mother, I've always said that I'm not afraid of dying, yet I would never want to leave my children motherless. I would also never want to have to mourn the loss of a child. The pain of any of those realities is so strong that I was sad the rest of the day. I prayed for the families in question and offered my condolences.
I then thought about what type of day that was to hear such terrible news back-to-back like that. I believe there is purpose in everything, and for me this was partly a lesson in perspective. Every day is precious. Every moment. We don't know when we've had our last moment with someone, so we should try to enjoy each moment we have together. Move past the trivial disagreements that may pull us apart, and find peace and understanding so we may remain connected. It also made me think about the joy motherhood has brought me. I suppose I was so sad because motherhood is really the best thing that ever happened to me. Motherhood has been more impactful and joyful than anything else I've experienced. Moreso than playing professional basketball, winning championships, traveling the world, all of it. Motherhood has completely changed my life for the better and I am ever so thankful that God blessed me with a daughter 14 years ago, and again with a son 11 months ago.
I suppose I wrote this today because my heart goes out to the families that revealed their tragedies to me as well as others who have lost a mother or a child. For some, today isn't necessarily a Happy Mother's Day, instead it is another reminder of the brevity of life.
God Bless the mothers and children no longer with us.