Last Sunday was Mother's Day. It was a a time to honor and cherish our mothers, mamas, moms, grandmothers, grannies, nanas, mimis, etc. No doubt sons and daughters throughout Tippah County held get-togethers at Mom’s house, took Momma out to dinner, or bought GiGi flowers and gifts. This treasured holiday was special for all these mothers and their children were happy to spend the day with them.

This was not a happy holiday for everyone though. Some people were experiencing their first Mother’s Day without their mother, wishing they could tell them how much they loved them. Some mother’s have lost children and are grieving for the hugs and kisses their little one once gave them. Some are longing to be mothers but cannot for a variety of reasons. Some families are far apart and cannot spend the holiday together. Some mother’s and children are no longer on speaking terms and their families have been torn a part. Whatever the circumstance, there are many who did not get to feel the love of their mother or child this Mother’s Day and these people are experiencing great hurt in the deepest part of their souls.

I HATE Mother’s Day. It is one of the worst days of the year. I have a son who loves me and spends the day with me, but I cannot enjoy it. Each year it is a reminder that I do not have a mother. Each year it is just days before the anniversary of my mother's death and each year I grieve for my mother just as much as I did when she died. It gets easier to cope but the emptiness and pain never goes away.

This year was especially hard. Yesterday, May 15, marked 20 years since she has been gone - 20 years of milestones, accomplishments, upsets, heartbreaks, and experiences that I did not get to share with my mama. There have been so many times I wished I could just call her and talk about my day. There have been countless occasions I have needed to feel her arms wrapped around me telling me everything would be OK. I can’t recall all many times I’ve cried because I was overwhelmed or upset or just plain tired and all I would have needed was for her to touch my hand and wipe my tears away.

I know, I sound like a baby and maybe I am. I was a mama’s girl. I was a somewhat spoiled, only child and it was just the two of us. She was my best friend as much as my mother. She worked 10 hours a day at the printing plant in Corinth most weeks to provide for us. She bought me what I wanted and needed when she could and she loved and protected me. She taught be things and guided me in the right direction.

I often think how much things would have been different if she had lived. I’m sure Micah would be smarter, happier and better off if he had known her. Her influence would have been great on him, but he doesn’t even remember her.  I would be a better person, too. I would be a better mother, I’m sure. I would not be as bitter or cynical about some things and I think I would make smarter decisions and be better off in all areas of my life as well. She would have pushed me and kept me in check. She would have made sure I followed all my dreams and didn’t stray from my path. She would have helped me when I needed help and loved me when I needed it most.

…But that didn’t happen. Life happens and death is a part of life. Many people are in the same situation as I am, wondering what might have been, wondering what they could have done differently, and wondering why their mother had to die. I have lived almost half my life without a mother. I was just 22 when she died. It's not fair. It's not right. It's just life and I carry on doing the best I can.

I don't feel that I truly appreciated my mother. I took a lot for granted. I didn't tell her I loved her enough. I didn't honor her like I should have. I rarely gave to her as much as she she gave to me. I expected her to be there for me when I needed her. I expected everything from her and she would have given it to me.

Many of us take our mothers for granted.  Love your mother while you can and let her know that you love her daily. Honor and cherish her and do for her as much as she does for you. If she needs you, be there for her. She has taken care of you when you were sick, so take care of her. She has helped you financially, so help her if you can. She has given you her whole heart, so give yours. Learn from her. Listen to her. Visit her. Take her shopping. One day you will want to do all these things and she won't be there, so do them now. I wish I had.

So, even though this is way to late, I love you and need you, Rosa Lee Campbell, and I always will. I miss you and wish you were here every day of my life. XOXO Tina.

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