This week you likely have been getting many messages about motherhood, but as many of us know our relationships with motherhood are complex and varied. If this topic is in any way triggering I invite you to stop reading here, because I will be discussing Mother’s Day and personal loss in this post.
I come from a large matriarchal family filled with many beautiful and resilient women. My upbringing in such a feminine context presents itself in this business in many seen and unseen ways. One readily apparent way is that all of our Two Days Off pieces are named after the women in my family. The Jordan Dress is named after my mother, the woman all of my greatest gifts can be attributed to. The Mioko Duster is named for my paternal grandmother, whom I considered my mentor and comrade in life. And the Mizue line is named for my eldest aunt, my role model and a massive support throughout all the ups and downs of my life. It is all of these women who have mothered me. They raised me in their likeness and demonstrated to me how to live a bountiful life with dignity no matter the circumstance.
I share this with you because as Two Days Off prepares to launch The Yoko Capsule this Mother’s Day weekend, a collection in honor of our co-creator’s (Emi Ito’s) late mother, I feel compelled to talk about the many experiences around motherhood that may not be the first to come to mind. Since I am not a mother myself I will only speak from my perspective as a person blessed with many mothers.
When I lost my grandmother in August, her death took a part of me I will never get back. She was in so many ways my foundation, and without her it is taking a long time to reestablish that. This year my cousin, who I consider a sister, suddenly became a single mother with the death of her husband. The pain she is experiencing is only matched by the love I see her express for her young babies. My aunt whose strength and compassion has always been a source of inspiration for me is currently battling cancer for her life. Once again her strength and hope is a driving force for me to keep going each and every day. And I have watched from a distance friends desperately try to conceive, raise children with special needs and even suffer infant loss. Each of these individuals remind me to count every single one of my blessings each day and work harder to pass it forward.
As I have worked for months on this upcoming capsule, I have carried a deep sense of grief and appreciation. Grief I believe so many of us who have been apart from the people we love due to loss, distance, or estrangement have felt. And it was only recently that I recognized that this grief can only exist because of a massive, unconditional love. The type of love our “mothers”, biological or not, show us. The Yoko Capsule is a direct expression of that love, it was born out of Emi’s desire to honor her mother and leave something for her daughter. And while I didn’t know it at the time, it was a way for me to reflect and heal.
My only hope is that the work I do at Two Days Off honors the legacies of the women that came before us by moving forward in a direction that serves all the children that will come after us.
All photography by Carley Scott Fields @ladynamedscott
I am looking forward to this capsule. I lost my mother when I was just 17, and as I suspect has been for Emi, her absence has been a daily presence in my life. I think of all that she missed, and she is with me at every milestone in my own life. The love I pass down to my 2 sons, their amazing partners, and my beautiful, brilliant, and opinionated 20-month-old granddaughter has its roots in what she gave me.