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Commentary: A New Lease on Life

By Christina Abt

Buffalo, NY – Since my mother's passing six years ago, Mother's Day has served as a regularly painful reminder that for the rest of my life I will be a motherless daughter. Further, the fact that my children are both grown and involved in their own lives often leaves me in a less than celebratory mood come the second that dreaded second Sunday in May.

Yet the good news is that this year my life has changed.

This Mother's Day, instead of dealing with melancholy over the fact that I a motherless daughter and an empty nester parent, I will be celebrating the fact that for the first time I am a Nana. And so, for the first time in years I am looking forward to the upcoming Mother's Day Holiday with a true sense of joy and anticipation.

I'm not sure exactly what it is about my newly titled "nanaship" that has so completely lightened my heart and changed my life's perspective. Obviously, there's the delight of experiencing pure and innocent love from a child of my own lineage. Then there's also the gratification factor of suddenly become a font of infinite wisdom in the eyes of my "new mother" daughter.

Yet there's something more significant at work here. Something outside the realm of schmaltzy Hallmark Cards, thoughtfully crafted Popsicle-stick gifts, and specially prepared-for-mommy dinners. It's an intangible sense that somehow through my newly acquired Nana status, I've received a renewed opportunity to live my life.

For example, during my short stint as a Nana I have yet to make any mistakes, do any wrongs, disappoint anyone, or fail to keep any promises. Also, I have consistently made my grandchild smile, showered him with kisses and hugs, read aloud his favorite book five times in five minutes, and capably soothed away his tears by rocking him in my arms.

In other words, to this point, I've been perfect!

Furthermore, I believe I have a good shot at maintaining my perfect Nana status for quite some time. For I have absolutely no responsibility for this child's life in any way or form, outside of my Official Nana's sworn duty to provide him with all of the love I have to give, everyday of my life.

So while I am sure that this year on Mother's Day I will still desperately wish for just one more chance to talk with my mom, and I will dream about fun filled days when my children were young and clamored for hugs and kisses from mommy, I also know that I will no longer spend the day in mourning for a past that I can't change or relive.

Rather, this year I will spend the day kissing and cuddling my grandson, thoroughly enjoy every minute of the present and looking forward to the future, as a new-lease-on-life Nana.

I guess you might call it the gift of life, in reverse.

"Heart and Soul" with Christina Abt is a monthly feature of WBFO News.