Change always comes bearing gifts. ~Price Pritchett
Last week when I went to the doctor’s office for treatment, I told the Erica, the physician’s assistant that I was planning a trip to the UK in May; I had made the decision to go last October when I had a feeling a part of me was missing: I had never met my cousins and from my Mom’s side of the family.
I had been fortunate to meet my Mom’s siblings when they came to visit us in the US over 30 years ago but the connection between our families had been maintained by my Mom via phone calls, letters email and her trips “home” to Wales. I had never had the opportunity to travel with her and now that my Mom and her siblings had passed away, I felt a need to connect to my remaining family; London and Wales were calling to me.
I told my friend Debbie about my intention to visit my family, but I was concerned about traveling by myself. I hinted about how much fun a few days in London would be: museums, galleries, high tea, and the theater. The next thing I knew, she agreed to be my travel companion for the first part of my trip before I made my way to Wales.
The timing was perfect: Debbie and I would be in London over Mother’s Day which meant we could attend the theater on Mother’s Day. This year will be the third without my Mom; it will be Debbie’s 11th without hers.
As members of the “Motherless Daughters Club”, the last two years Debbie and I have celebrated at the theater – Hamilton that first year, and a local performance last year. This new tradition with Debbie fills the void of not having my Sunday Matinee subscription to the Palo Alto Players (PAP).
My Mom and I had our PAP subscription for over 23 years: the 1st Sunday matinee, Row H, Seats 108 and 109. I loved attending with my Mom, and I looked forward to each new season with excitement. We rarely missed a performance over those 23 years.
As cancer took over my Mom’s life, it was difficult for her to attend; her ticket was used for my friends, my boys, and my brother-in-law but attending a show with anyone but my Mom just wasn’t the same. Despite her failing health, I continued with the subscription in 2015 and 2016, my tickets going unused.
In 2017, I finally let go and canceled the subscription; it was hard to let go of something that had brought my Mom and me such joy. I thought of all the wonderful shows over the years – “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Forever Plaid” are the two that always stand out: funny, entertaining, and laugh-out-loud. Those days were truly some of the best times with my Mom.
Letting go of those tickets was closing another door to the past and the connection to my Mom; closing that door meant another one would open, and it did.
I look forward to celebrating another “Motherless Mother’s Day” with Debbie. I am excited to meet my Mom’s family. I am grateful for my family’s support as I continue my journey of living without fear or being afraid of change. Change really is a gift.