How losing a mother teaches us to give the gift of gratitude.
Every year when May rolls around, I always find myself feeling slightly somber and reflective. I’m someone who lost her mom quite young (at 18) to metastatic breast cancer. I can’t sugarcoat it—it was an emotional and physical cyclone that struck her and our family, from diagnosis to her passing. But what I’ve gained from the experience is something I’ve learned to truly appreciate—I’ve come to integrate gratitude and compassion into my life in a way that I perhaps would not have done otherwise. I know this: Loss and the lessons that lie within it can bestow very special gifts upon us if we let them. It takes time and space to slowly pull away the veil of grief, but you may find that on the other side is a certain kind of enlightenment. At least that has been my experience. Perhaps my greatest takeaway has been this: I had a mom for 18 years, and she drove me batshit crazy much of the time, as I did her. But for those 18 years, she told me almost every single day that I was beautiful, funny, talented, and brilliant—and that I could do anything in the world I put my mind to. So maybe our life together was cut way too short, and I’ll never quite fully reconcile that fact—but let’s just say that I am, to this day, one lucky kid.
On that sunny note, this May I’d like to celebrate all of you mommies out there and mobilize all of us kids and friends and admirers who are so grateful for you and all of the sacrifices you’ve made (and continue to make) as mothers. Yes, even you who may drive your sons and daughters completely bananas on a daily basis, or may be driven bananas by those same sons and daughters. I think basically we were put on this planet to drive each other batshit and then see where we net out.
Below are just a few Mother’s Day gift ideas, whether you’re planning on buying for your own mother, a friend’s mom, a pal who is a new mom, or *yourself*, the mom who’s ready to treat herself big-time (and for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus—don’t you deserve it??!).
First Time at the Rodeo Mom
Whoa. She’s-a-freakin’. Here’s a de-stresser she can use anytime, even while nursing. Let’s give her tired and swollen feet some much-needed TLC with a traveling shiatsu massage. Reflexology has been shown to relieve stress and help you sleep.
Toddler Terror: For the Mother of Dragons
I don’t know how my incredible business partner and bestie, Allison Oleskey, simultaneously runs a business and makes it through any given day with a 4-year-old (my beloved goddaughter). These creatures we call toddlers are completely mental. This mom likely hasn’t bought herself new clothes in eons and wants easy styling pieces. So give her the gift of Nili Lotan, comfy spring/summer styles in ultra-breezy fabrics, perfect for looking chic even while managing a body-flopping tantrum (in public).
Tween and Teenage Wasteland
I am not proud of my behavior in my tweens and teens. Let’s just say that I may have been a headstrong loudmouth (nothing like I am now). This is the age when we rally against everything our moms say. So what better time than now to find a way to bond with your woman-to-be? Whether you are buying for yourself and your own daughter, or you hint to your hubby or partner, this gift ticks every box, full stop. Le Petit Gem by jewelry designer Meredith Kahn brings mommies and daughters (or grandmas or the whole dang female bloodline) together with these unique, customizable, matching birthstone cluster necklaces. Guaranteed to be a tear-jerker upon receipt.
You’re All Grown Up Now—She Did Good!
There’s no better way to say thanks than to treat your mom to some proper pampering in return for all the wacky stages and multiple personalities you put her through! My Spa 2 Go delivers exceptional in-home spa experiences in NY, L.A., and London, right to her door!
Other tips for those who can’t be with Mom on Mother’s Day: Flowers of course never go out of style, but a customized gift box of goodies is always unique. Some really off-the-beaten-track faves include offerings from Simone LeBlanc, Vessel Brooklyn, and BoxFox.
And last but not least, for those who have suffered a loss, give the gift of enlightenment. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s amazing new book OPTION B tracks the personal, spiritual, and practical journey she made as a wife and as a mother following her husband Dave Goldberg’s sudden death two years ago this May.
Hope you all have a beautiful, happy, and healthy May and a Happy Mother’s Day!