My Mother, My Friend

by Carolyn Kindcaid

Carolyn Kincaid is a professional writer who lives in Alexandria with her husband Adam, 15 month old son William, and sweet cocker spaniel Dixie.

I’ve given my mom a bouquet of yellow roses on Mother’s Day for as long as I can remember. There’s no rhyme or reason to why she picked these flowers as her favorite  . . . perhaps she liked how the cheerful blooms symbolize friendship. I know that's why I loved giving them to her - my mom was one of my best friends, wisest advisers, and greatest role models after all.

Last year, my mom and I shared Mother’s Day surrounded by bouquets of sunny roses, yellow mimosas, and the loving men in our lives - my husband, 3 month-old son, and two older brothers. I didn't know it’d be the last Mother's Day I'd spend with her, but looking back  I know it was the best one we ever had because I finally understood the unique bond between a mother and her child. Our shared experience of motherhood not only deepened our friendship, it created a powerful bond between us.

In the cold, early hours of February 5th, my mom passed away from a short and sudden fight with sarcoma. A bouquet of yellow roses stood out against the pallid ICU room as I grasped her delicate hand and listened to the beeping heart rate monitor slow to a stop. I had brought the roses a few days before, and my mom strained a smile from her hospital bed when she saw me place them next to the window. She knew what I was trying to say.

Her strong spirit and selflessness left an indelible mark on me and lay the foundation for the kind of mother I aim to be. And while my heart stings when I think of how my mom won’t be here to enjoy a mimosa with me this Mother’s Day, I know the bonds of friendship go beyond this life. We’ll pick up right where we left off once God calls me home.

So, until then, I'll lay those friendly roses under the old oak tree where she rests in peace this Mother’s Day. And I’ll embrace the thorny heartache and bloomy memories, thanking God for the loving legacy my mother left behind for me.