Why is it when you lose your Mom it seems wherever you go you see elderly women who remind you of your Mother? Or at least that is how it feels to me. I’ve been trying to get some Christmas shopping done which I sure don’t feel like doing but is expected of me. When I’m in a store it seems like all I see are elderly Mother’s either in wheelchairs or walking with their grown sons or daughters shopping which of course everyone is doing this time of year. I always took my Mom shopping at Christmas which always seemed to be the whole month of December for some reason. She usually wanted to go more than me and I sometimes talked her out of a trip because of the crowds or I was short on time. She loved this time of year and the shopping trips we did make together. For some reason every store I end up in now seems like there are daughters pushing their Mothers in a wheelchair. Last year was the first year Mom used a little portable scooter I bought her or I pushed her in her wheelchair to shop as she had a hard time walking the last year she was alive. How did I not notice any of this before Mom died? I don’t really remember seeing elderly women shopping with their grown sons or daughters. I was at the local Mall yesterday and while looking in the clothing department of one of the stores, I overheard a conversation of an older Mom in a wheelchair whose daughter was pushing her.  The Mother picked up a sweater off of a table and was holding it up admiring it when the daughter said “Mom that color is hideous.” The Mom laughed and said “I love this color and I just decided to get it for myself.” They argued back and forth for a few minutes with the Mom winning the argument. It made me laugh and cry at the same time as I recalled similar conversations with my Mom. I couldn’t help listening to them and silently laughed to myself. By the time I made it to my car to leave I sat in the parking lot and cried my heart out wishing that had been my Mom & I.  I wish I could go back in time and enjoy these moments once again with my Mom. Has it always been like this and I just never noticed before? Moms & Daughters and their shopping trips? I feel so sad I never was aware so I could have savored it more at the time and I so regret when I told her I was too busy or didn’t have time for another trip to the Mall. I wish I had known it would all be gone one day and I would have made more memories. It is so hard to watch but at the same time so comforting somehow. I either leave the stores laughing or crying and I must say the emotions are overwhelming. Boy do I ever miss my Mom. These holidays are so hard to get through the first time your Mother isn’t there. Will it be easier next year? I hope so but I really doubt it will ever be better! I miss you so much Mom!!!! Does anyone else feel like this?

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Dear Dottie's Daughter,

I can so relate to how you feel, the loss is so hard everyday. My mom passed 8/13/10 and was the worst day ever in my life. I dreaded the holidays com'n up...Thanksgiving was pretty dreary mood...Went to a Christmas candle lighting service at the funeral home just a couple of days ago. I did not expect how hard it would be to go back there. On the way to the service, I stopped at the cemetary...up to that point, I had not had the strength to go near it and passing the hospital where she died in, well, that is next to difficult at best. I don't want to shop for the holidays, but like you, it is expected...I have 4 kids and a husband. I don't want to see the decorations, hear the music and seeing other people shopping with their mom is soooo hard. There are times, which I bet you have too, where I am doing all I can to fight back the tears in the middle of the store...I will be glad when x-mas is done, but then I try to reminde myself the real reason for the season...Christ. Thankfull and unworthy of Him, but just want the pain at the holiday time to end. You are not alone at all...hang in there, we'll get through this. This is my first x-mas without my mom too.
Thank you Donna for your kind words. I feel the same as you, the day my Mom passed on 9/28/10 is and was the worst day of my life. As for shopping....any store I go into there is some kind of reminder of my Mom it seems. We have lived in the same area for the last 50 yrs so everywhere I go there are memories of having been there with Mom at some point. I have left so many places since she passed holding back tears without finishing what I was there for. Its just the way it is for me right now. I try to avoid driving by the hospital where she passed away and the nursing home where she spent a couple of weeks. I still can't drive anywhere near where her cute little senior apartment was and its only a mile away from our house. As for Christmas... I have decided I will not decorate this year although I have all of my Mom's boxes of decorations in addition to mine. I am reflecting on the true reason of this holiday as well. She always reminded us at this time of year the real reason we should be celebrating Christmas and she also loved decorating her place inside and out. Next year I will use her decorations she has saved all her life but this year I just want to get past the holidays. I will try to remember all the Christmas holidays I've shared in the past with her to get through this one. I hope your memories of Christmas's past with your Mother help you through this one as well. Strength & Prayers to you.
I can certainly related to you both. I lost my elderly mom just past midnight May 10th, 2010. She held on until it was no longer Mother's Day, although we kept a bedside vigil all that day while she was dying. I had lost my dad Oct. 7, 2008, so my mission, and my sister's, was to keep our mom propped up emotionally after that. We weren't really able to grieve his loss because she reacted to our emotions, so losing mom was kind of like losing him all over again, too. I have also noticed daughters shopping with their elderly mothers, and it too makes me laugh and cry at the same time. What precious times they are sharing! My own daughter is very aware of this too, as she was the only granddaughter, and losing Grandma was the most siginficant loss in her life as well. After thinking I was truly losing my mind for an entire six months after Mom died, and seeking grief counseling to deal with my loss, I am finally reaching a point where I think I can accept this. I dreaded Thanksgiving, but it was actually ok. I convinced my sister to go spend it with her son and his family out of state, and my children and their families came to my house for dinner. Afterward, I sat down in the living room and glanced over at a photo of my parents, the last one taken just before my dad got really sick. The photo appeared to be glowing, and it struck me that perhaps they had also been there at our Thanksgiving dinner after all. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, is going to be really hard, but what I told my sister is, with the death of our parents, we have lost our old family traditions. It is up to us now to create new ones with them in mind. Next year I am going to try to find one of those elderly ladies who is not blessed to have one of us daughters to take her shopping,  one who has to depend on someone from an agency. I plan to "adopt" her and do those things I used to do with my mom in her memory, and in this way give this lady something our mothers had, and treasured. My thoughts and prayers will be with you both, Dottie's Daughter and Donna. It does get a little better as time goes on, but losing your elderly mom is truly having the foundation knocked out from underneath you, and no one but you can find that solid ground again.


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