This Is When You'll Miss Your Mom

by Lydia Mansel

You'll miss her on days where it feels like if you breathe too deeply, if you let yourself relax, everything will come crashing down around you. You'll miss her presence, her lavender scent that makes wherever you are feel safe and like home.

You'll miss her when you're in the grocery aisle trying to remember the exact combination of ingredients she uses in her famous chocolate cake. You'll feel vulnerable, impatient and irritable.

Missing her will hit you on days where nothing in particular went wrong and everything seems to be normal. But the only thing you want is to be enveloped in her arms, shutting out the world around you.

You'll miss her the second you hear about someone else losing a mother. Your chest tightens and imagining, if only for a moment, your life without yours freezes everything around you.

You'll feel her absence when you're sick and leaving your bed to pick up soup and Gatorade seems impossible. She's not there to place the back of her palm, cool and always soft from the lotion she's used for years, against your clammy forehead.

You'll miss her when you go out of your way to be there for a friend because it reminds you of each and every soccer game she sat through, just to see you play for a few minutes at a time. It pains you to recall how ungrateful you were, how you took her presence for granted for so many years.

You'll miss her when you're paying your rent and electricity bill, remembering how she's been doing it for years. How she sacrificed almost everything just so you could grow up happy and comfortable.

You'll feel a pang of annoyance and the sting of loneliness when she doesn't pick up her phone when you call. You call again and again, knowing she's the only person you want to talk to after a long day at work.

You'll miss her when you move into a new apartment and the rooms feel empty and foreign. You try to imitate the way she makes a bed and the way she organizes the kitchen, but nothing works.

You'll miss her when you see older couples walking hand in hand, and you become panicked, scared of what would happen if she ever lost your dad. At some point, your view of her changed and you began to understand what it's like to feel protective and worry about someone.

When even the most insignificant holidays roll around, you'll need her. You'll need her traditions, her recipes and the way she makes everything feel like a special occasion.

You'll miss her the moment you leave after a trip home, when you hear her favorite song and when you're tired.

You'll miss her even though she's always there – in the way you laugh, in the way you walk and in the way you wear your emotions on your sleeve.

This is when you'll miss your mom.