When I think of my hardest days I think of the girlfriends who got me through. The ones who sat with me in the dark but didn’t let me get lost. Who acknowledged my grief and reminded me of my hope. The ones who cooked food, and hugged my babies. The ones who would just check in to say hi. The ones who never let it go too long without letting me know that I was on their mind.
It didn’t have to be grand. It was actually quite opposite. It was the consistent knowledge that they saw me and cared. They loved me when I was shiny and fun and they loved me equally in the raw and broken. Acknowledging all the parts of each other and being accepted with grace means we are fully seen and understood. There was so much comfort in the realization that face to face time was joy, but they were still there in the background on the days we didn't or couldn't share space.
I think of all the women I watch rally around each other to build each other up. The way they say the true, kind things. How they encourage. The way they say the hard things with the sweetest hearts and intentions. The ones that will be fierce when another can’t. The ones that will be gentle when another is rough. The ones that step in with the simple "you got this," and "I'm here," that flips a switch or lights a flame.
7 years ago today was one of the hardest days of my life. Each year since then, the days surrounding it have looked a little different for me, like grief does. There were years it drove me deep under the covers. Years I needed to sit with a friend. Years I tried to plow through and failed. All part of the process, it seems. It is no shock to me that this idea for Mugs for Moms, came to me week ago. The collective sad we're all in is so like grief. Maybe it is exactly grief. And that's why it's felt so heavily familiar.
We have lost so many things. I miss good unquestioned hugs. Distancing sucks. It’s lonely and frustrating and just sort of scary.
But we haven't lost each other and the ability to see the parts of each other that truly matter. We can still be that for each other. We can be distanced but not disconnected. Little things have ripple effects. Little gestures can have a big impact. It's about the (metaphorical) shoulder tap of a reminder that we still have each other. And that means we have so much. Because if we have collective sadness, we can have collective strength.
So I had some mugs and I wondered what it would mean to send a small note and a little reason for a mom to leave the house, cause sometimes it feels like we never do. Like never. And I thought about the women I miss. And I know they have women they miss. And what if I could help them remind one another of what it means to still have each other. An easy happy. Loving each other should and can be simple.
So here it is. Why this Mug thing is a thing. What it is. What it means. Written on the anniversary of my hardest day. Where it will never be easier, but there can be good. And you are the good. I love you and I love how you love each other.