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A Mix of Emotions On A Certain Day In June

June 8th is/was my mother’s birthday. I still say is because that’s what this date will always bring to mind for me first. My mother loved celebrating birthdays, not so much her own, but everyone else’s. Birthdays were always a huge deal and had to be celebrated as such.

Ironically, it was on my birthday when cancer first slithered into her life and therefore into mine as well. Cancer was the uninvited intruder at my birthday party a few years back.

I wish I had more photos of my mother on her birthday. I wish I had more photos of her period.

A mix of emotions on a certain day in June

Enjoying a special birthday

June 8th is also the date my parents were married. I’ve always thought it was sweet they chose to get married on my mother’s birthday. I love looking at old photos of them on their big day. Again, there aren’t that many, so this makes the ones we do have all that much more special.

Not much fanfare, but lots of love and my, don't they look young?

Not much fanfare, but lots of love and my, don’t they look young?

When I look at this photo of my parents on their wedding day, I wonder what they were thinking about. One thing I’m certain of, it was not breast cancer, something they’d be facing together years down the road.

Fast forward to June 8th, 2012, another special day in my immediate family. It was the day Dear Daughter and Dear Son-in-Law chose to tie the knot. The fact they chose this particular date of family significance says a lot about their thoughtfulness. I can’t thank them enough. Choosing my mother’s birthday for their wedding date was like having Grandma there. I wrote about a tale of two weddings in June in case anyone likes going down someone else’s memory lane.

A mix of emotions on a certain day in June

The happy trio

I was worried about my emotions on Dear Daughter’s wedding day. What mother of the bride isn’t? Admittedly, my emotions were all over the map. But I did just fine. Even if I hadn’t, that would have been okay too. It might have been awkward, yes, but still okay.

So often, we think we must guard our true feelings. We feel some occasions should be all one way or the other, emotionally speaking.

Happy times must be happy. Sad times must be for sad. Emotional divisions must be maintained. We fear crossing emotional boundaries and sometimes work really hard at keeping our emotions in check.

We worry we might look vulnerable if too much emotion seeps out, overlaps, gets mixed up, or doesn’t conform with whichever one is expected at any given point in time.

We risk losing out on the fullness of an experience when we do this. We risk losing out on the richness of life.

People are complex. Many experiences are complex. Emotions are complex too. We don’t need to worry so much about keeping them in their proper box.

It’s okay to be sad for moments during a joyous celebration like a wedding (or any happy occasion) as we remember, think about and miss the loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s okay to cry. Or not cry.

Likewise, it might be perfectly appropriate to smile, chuckle or even laugh out loud when attending a loved one’s wake or funeral.

Allow yourself the gift of feeling the full range of your emotions on any given day, but especially during those big moments of life and yes, death too.

From here on out, June 8th will always be a day of varying emotions. It will be one of happiness and fond memories, but it will also be one with nostalgia and pangs of sadness blended in as well.

And this is as it should be on a certain day in June.

Do you sometimes work too hard at keeping your emotions in check?

Have you ever felt happy and sad at the same time?

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A mix of emotions on a certain day in June

Dear Daughter and That Mutt (Ace)


Susan Zager

Sunday 16th of June 2013

What a beautiful post and I love the gorgeous photo of your daughter and your son-in- law on their wedding day and how special for them to choose your mother's birthday. I think everyone worries about keeping their emotions in check but they are our emotions and sometimes there are certain days that we think are going to be hard to get through (like your mother's birthday as a reminder), but somehow we do. Thank you for sharing this as I know there are deep emotions that are attached to this. xoxoxo -Susan


Sunday 16th of June 2013

Susan, It was an especially kind and loving gesture on their part to pick that date - one so tied to the past, present and future. Our emotions are ours. So simple and true and yet... I really appreciate your sweet comments here. Thank you.

Beth L. Gainer

Tuesday 11th of June 2013

Beautiful post with beautiful pictures. I think it's wonderful how your daughter and son-in-law chose your mother's birthday to get married.

I have felt happy and sad at the same time. A lot. I'm very emotional; I guess I always was, but I wear my emotions on my sleeve when it comes to my personal life, not my work life. My daughter recently graduated pre-k (a post will be forthcoming), but I felt happy (such a wonderful occasion) but sad that she was growing up so fast.


Wednesday 12th of June 2013

Beth, Motherhood is full of those moments of feeling happy and sad at the same time. One could probably throw in a few more emotions too. Emotions are complex and sometimes we need to remember that. And yes, your daughter's growing up quickly. There are many more emotional milestones in store for you! Thanks for reading and commenting, Beth.

Carolyn Frayn

Monday 10th of June 2013

Beautiful writing Nancy, I love the photographs of your dear family... your daughter is beautiful inside and out, how incredible it is that she choose to get married on your Mom's birthday.

To answer your questions, sort of... My sister and I are known for our inappropriate emotional outbursts, sad equals happy, happy equals sad, terrified equals hysterical laughter. :) Good to read that it is more the norm than I thought.


Tuesday 11th of June 2013

Carolyn, Thank you for reading and for your comments. And yes, daughter is beautiful inside and out, no argument there! Sounds like you and your sister keep things interesting! Good for you.

Saturday 8th of June 2013

Nancy, yes, I love the photo of the happy trio. My daughter is getting married this August, so I loved your take, although you have the added meaning of your mom's birthday and parents' wedding day being the same. What a thoughtful young woman your daughter must be. She gave you a real gift in the circle of life.


Sunday 9th of June 2013

Eileen, I guess you have an exciting date to look forward to then. Perhaps you'll be writing about it too. I'm glad you enjoyed the photo. It was so great to have Ace at the wedding. The lasting memory of his presence will be very special. And the date, yes, it was a thoughtful choice for them to make. Thank you for commenting.


Saturday 8th of June 2013

I picked my grandmother's birthday as my wedding day. She died when I was 13 and she had been my best friend. We broke off the engagement but that day still has such significance to me. My grandma was the first of my family members to die and I was heartbroken. The rest of my family has all died, leaving me an orphan and sibling-less and I cry on all of their birthdays. Happy tears because I had them in my life. And sad tears that they left me way too soon. One of the things that kept me fighting my cancer when I wanted so hard to give up was thinking that I was living for them. My parents both died of cancer and I had to survive, for them. I cry every day. Sometimes happy tears and sometimes sad. Oftentimes both at the dame time. The wedding photos are beautiful and brought a huge smile to my face. A tear might have leaked out...


Sunday 9th of June 2013

Nancy, I'm sorry about all your losses and about all your tears. Sometimes crying helps; I hope that's the case for you. Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.

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