05/12/2014 05:40 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2014

Mother's Day Kind of Sucks...

Mother's Day is always a bit sucky when your Mom has passed away. And while every mother is special to her child, my Mom was a nurse and homebirth midwife, so she was particularly unique in some ways that I didn't appreciate until I became a mother myself. For instance, she was:

1. Never around, yet omnipresent. She told us to get out of the house and not come in until dinnertime; she never came to my soccer games and barely looked at my report cards. I guess I figured out that it was important to behave even without supervision, to be a good player for my teammates and get (nearly) straight A's for myself... because she wasn't watching. It was pretty obvious what was expected.

2. Quiet, but raised a racket. She, like many women of her generation, was expected to stay home, become a teacher or take up nursing. She used to tell us that she'd deliver the meds as ordered by the doc, and then whisper to the patient to not take them. She didn't shave her legs and armpits; when we asked for milk with dinner (as the TV commercials suggested was what "normal" families had), she told us milk was for baby cows. I wish I had 10% of the guts she had.

3. A fighter, with acceptance. The six of us put her through the wringer with all our shenanigans. A local MD tried his damnedest to get her to stop helping women labor and birth at home; she exhausted herself trying to fight cancer with all the suggested treatments. But she started saying "whatever" a lot towards the end. I found this extremely annoying at the time, but who knows? Life is probably best lived with a bit of a "fight" but also a healthy dose of acceptance. Who wants to fight their own body?

Happy belated Mother's Day, to all of you who may still be finding your mom -- even after you've lost her.