Mother’s Day: Her Unspoken Legacy

Mother’s Day: Her Unspoken Legacy

Mother’s Day: Her Unspoken Legacy

Mother’s Day: Her Unspoken Legacy


Mother's Day. It’s a day of celebration, a day we set aside to honor the women who have walked through fire, raising families, juggling careers, or may have even forged their paths despite their struggles. I,  like many, turn to those maternal figures who have shaped us, nurtured us, and left an indelible mark on our lives. It also makes me think about the legacy I am leaving behind as a mother.  As a new mother, I relished being honored on this day, but as I get older, I go back to reflecting on my mom and what 47 might have looked like for her. I cannot help but think of a legacy of openness. As the Founder of VivaValet, I have so many conversations with daughters my age that have already lost their mother.  I would say 60% of my friends will never get to ask their mother another question.

How do you honor the one who gave you life, all the while paying homage to the life you built as a mother yourself?

For this year, I wish to experience this Mother’s Day celebration with a different gaze—a gaze of uncomfortable questions and things not to leave unsaid. Uncomfortable and revealing questions I am GRATEFUL I still have the opportunity to ask my own mother. 


Reflecting on an Unusual Tribute

The idea of 'embracing discomfort' may seem a ridiculous way to approach a day that is traditionally laced with the sentiment of warmth and joy.  Yet in a world filled with narratives of regret, assumptions and the unsaid, I cannot help but wonder  if we are truly celebrating our mothers if we don't unpack the weight of the unasked and the unspoken. Social media has suffocated us with what celebrations should look like, but what we tend to forget is what they can feel like when infused with raw, unedited emotion.


Why Discomfort Speaks Louder than Regret

When I speak to my friends that have lost their mother, there are, without exception, things they wished they asked, words they wished were spoken.  Often they are questions about what their mother went through, certain experiences, struggles, decisions. Sometimes more intimate questions about aging, menopause, womanhood or genetics, relationships or even wishes about end of life. But why do most of us never think to ask these questions when our parents are living? We never know when we have spoken the last words we have ever spoken to our loved ones. This Mother's Day, I challenge not just myself, but all of us, to ask those questions that gnaw at the edges of our comfort, to approach it as if she were gone, and we missed our chance. Or,  what if she were here, but much older and needed close care? What do we wish we would have asked   her earlier?  Contemplating the mortality and the legacy of those we cherish the most is not easy. My hope is that these intense moments turn our celebration into more than just an outpouring of love, they become a timeless dialogue, an openness, a new type of tradition of nothing left unsaid or unasked. I think I would rather sit with discomfort than live with regret.


The Uncomfortable Canvas of Life and Legacy

What could these uncomfortable questions be for me? Actually there are so many. Some are uncomfortable to ask, and some uncomfortable to hear answered. But this year, I will start with what is top of mind.  My hope is that you will all join me by adding questions. I realize there are more questions about aging and fears.  I will ask what is top of mind and continue if I am given the opportunity to have this conversation. 

  • What part of your medical history is essential for me to know?
  • What are you the most proud of about your life so far (you cannot say your children) 
  • When was perimenopause and menopause for you and what was it like? 
  • Is Aging lonely? 
  • Are you afraid of any particular medical diagnosis? If it comes to pass, how do you want me to support you? 
  • Is there dementia or cancer in our family? 
  • How do you interpret “She can no longer look after herself”, what would that have to look like for you, in order to be true? 
  • If you had a late stage diagnosis and your doctor told me first, is there a scenario where you would NOT want me to tell you? 
  • What is the best way I can support you in your life and dreams now?
  • What has surprised you the most about aging?
  • What has surprised you the most about your life? 
  • Do you have any regrets? 
  • What do you fear the most about getting older? And how can I support you the most as you age?
  • What is something about your life that you never told me that you wish you had?
  • What are 3 things you wish you did at my age 47 to prepare for your age today that you want me to consider? 
  • What are 3 things you did by the time you were my age that you are grateful you did?
  • What characteristics do you love the most about yourself? 
  • If you could give yourself permission to do anything right now, what would it be? 
  • What keeps you up at night? 
  • If you could change one thing about our relationship, what would it be?


Encouraging Uncomfortable Conversations 

I urge you to ponder your own list of questions. They need not be identical or methodical, just ask. However, they must come from an honest place—of wanting to understand our mothers as individuals with their experiences, fears, and quests. And to be fair to both of you, only ask what you have the capacity to  hear without judgment of her or yourself. 


A Celebration of Wholeness, Not Ideals

This Mother's Day, let’s try and celebrate the whole of our relationships (emphasis on try), not just the idealized parts. From the doubt and uncertainty, the struggle of past relationship patterns, perhaps we can  forge a stronger bond, one not weakened by the unsaid and unasked. It's through these questions that I hope to gradually  unravel the unique journey of my mother's life, to understand the full picture—not just the parts she showed me, but the whole  life she is living.


My Mother’s Day Tribute: The Unspoken 

Why is it that when we lose people, we are filled with all the regret of what was left unsaid. For as much as this plea for Mother’s Day has been  about questioning, it is also about listening and sharing.  It's about having the courage to broach these topics and the wisdom to grasp the responses. I want to emphasize that it does take wisdom of years lived, or lessons learned to embark on this for many. But by doing  so, we honor our mothers not just with flowers and cards, but with an enduring tribute—a conversation that bridges shyness with outspokenness, discomfort with growth, and silence with understanding.

 So, here is my unspoken, my “I wish I would have told her”, for this year. 

Dear Mom, Three Things I should have already said to you: 


  1. Your Journey Inspires Me:  You inspire me.

 When I think about you raising two kids in a foreign country, getting an education (Again), in a field based on demand and not your interest) and building a life. I am IN AWE and INSPIRED. I reflect on this often and it motivates and  it is the core of why nothing feels out of reach for me. It is also what has made me fiercely independent. (I know our innate independence clashes sometimes )

  1. Your constant reinvention of your own life gives me the greatest sense of HOPE, WONDER and FREEDOM of my own future.

Changing countries, changing careers after 25 years (and being successful in both)  and moving twice and building community everywhere you go (one of my favorites), your circle of friends, and your ability to constantly learn new things like a pro.  (Also very envious of your green thumb)


  1. Thank you, I appreciate you. For all you have done for me, given me and sacrificed because of me. And specifically, your passion for continued self learning, self discovery, self mastery together with your self belief is the gift I am the most grateful that i have received. Thankyou 


Are you ready? 

Mother's Day isn't just a retrospective—it's a call to action. It's a day we don't just say, "I love you," but a day we show it by the willingness to witness, unjudging and undeterred, the story of a life that is, ultimately, our own.  It’s your turn to seek the hidden  insights that are part of your own story.  The story that is as much yours to cherish as it is to inherit. I will tell you, through this uncomfortable  journey, I find great comfort in mindfully approaching my own legacy of openness with my children. 

This year, don't shy away from the uncomfortable. Lean into it, challenge it, and ultimately, transcend it. The true gift of Mother's Day is in the exchanges, in understanding the unsaid. Yet, this is where I realize the first step is not about the words. It’s about the delicate dance of finding comfort in discomfort. These conversations, while tricky, irrefutably weave the fabric of our relationships, some simple weaves and some more complex and stronger for the wear.. An extended hand that says, "I want to understand. I want to know you deeply."