It was surprising. For the treasured resting place of Naboo's most revered and loved ruler, the mausoleum was very much unguarded. Although, Luke Skywalker figured, it was certainly to his own benefit. He was, technically, allowed to be here based on tenet 38 of the 8th Law, but that would be very difficult to explain to anyone who caught and questioned him here.

Before him, in all its white stone glory, stood the tomb of Padme Amidala, the greatest princess Naboo has ever known and its greatest hero.

Glancing around one more time, Luke stepped forward into the waiting doorway's shadow. It was child's play to unlock the lock, the force singing through his veins pure and serene. As the door swung open, Luke made sure to pull his deep gray hood lower over his face, in case the old security cameras actually worked.

Belying its lax security, the mausoleum was very well cared for, surfaces gleaming and not a speck of dust throughout the whole structure. The white marble walls and floor were smooth, obviously of the highest quality. It was beautiful, yet retaining a simplistic elegance. Somehow, Luke felt that if he had known the woman in life well enough to judge her character, he would have approved.

In the center of it all, a coffin stood tall, rectangular and also white. It was simple, adorned with only the naboo crest upon its center. Yet, as Luke found himself walking forward, he admired it.

To him, it seemed to represent and encompass much of his childhood.

When Luke was little, he could remember constantly asking after his parents. Aunt Beru had always told him his father was a spice freighter and his mother was dead. It had been a guilty, painful dream of his to be taken away but either a returning father or a miraculously revived mother. How they would love him and play with him and he would be happy forever just to be with them.

Luke supposed the idea of his mother's death finally sunk in when he was around nine. Because, that was around the time that a classmate's grandpa died. Luke recalled how he had once visited the grave with said classmate. It was quiet there. The sadness and grief of the family's burial site seemed to have sunk into the air. As though the generations of dead family had materialized as a thick miasma in the air that stole the words from the breather's tongue.

That had been the first time Luke had truly understood death. How it takes and does not give back.

He stopped dreaming of his mother after that.

Thankfully, since he had never had a mother, her absence was felt, but only as a vague loss. An empty place in his heart only known because it is a contrast to what is filled.

However, Luke was still at a loss one day every year.

Mother's Day.

At his local little school, there was only one teacher who taught all the students at once. She basically taught them to read by giving each year of students things to write down over and over of varying difficulty, moving between the rows of students to help those who were having difficulty. The sound of chalk of their chips of black board was usually calming.

However, every year, without fail, the woman would hand hand them all little slips of rough paper. The papers were about four inches but four inches, small but serving their purpose. It had always amazed Luke how generous the teacher was, that she would waste so much paper, a rare commodity in a desert, on a bunch of other people's children.

When every child had a slip of paper, she then handed out wax coloring sticks of various colors, another rare commodity. Then, she would write different examples of "Happy Mother's Day" or "I love you, Mom!" The kind young teacher would then aid the odd thirty children to create cards for mothers that would likely not receive any other kind of recognition on their special day. There just weren't enough resources on their desert planet for an average family unit to splurge on one person.

Normally, Luke would sit out and watch as his classmates created colorful messes to hand to their respective mothers. He usually gave his paper to his friend, Biggs, who then gave it to one of his younger siblings or a cousin or someone. Luke wasn't sure, he just knew that at least someone was able to tell their mom 'Happy Mother's Day,' even if it wasn't him.

However, when Luke was 12, the teacher caught him holding back from the crowd of kids trying to get to the wax colors. When questioned, Luke admitted that his mother was dead. The teacher had been quiet for a moment, and Luke was honestly bracing to have to give his paper back, before she hugged him and smiled. She said, "Well, you should make her a card, anyways. You wouldn't want her to be watching over you and have her feel neglected on her special day, would you?"

So, Luke had made a mother's day card for a mother he would never see, hear, nor hug. However, he decided, he would love.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Luke still found himself left with an expensive gift with no mother to give it to. It felt wasteful to just throw it away. Paper was expensive. So, Luke kept it, placing it within an old shoe box of Aunt Beru's, the remnants of an expensive gift from her distant, wealthier cousins. The next year, a similar card joined it.

Even when Luke left the little school, having learned all he could within its rickety walls, he kept making the Mother's day cards. He couldn't let his mother feel neglected, after all.

The cards did, however gain a new quality. They were no longer paper. Often, they took the form of small pieces of metal, marked with the careful use of a blowtorch to show their heartfelt messages. Other times, they were wires, twisted to form words and pinned to a solid sheet of some kind, usually scrap.

By the time of his fateful departure with Obi-wan, Luke had developed and tuned this habit that snagging the box of cards along side the essentials, albeit the box was little burned, was really more of an after thought.

And, it really shouldn't come as any surprise that the next mother's day found him, despite being embroiled in a rebellion, hidden away in his room, making another mother's day card. This one was made using the remains of an old ruined uniform shirt. The strong fabric had been ruined when it was ripped by shrapnel. Luckily the tough material had done its job and Luke was mostly unharmed, but the shirt itself was ruined.

Luke used a knife to pick at the fibers of the shirt, forming careful cursive, which he had learned the past year, into a beautiful message from son to mother.

This card, like all the ones to come got absently stuffed into the old shoebox once Mother's Day was over. Thankfully, Luke never had to miss a Mother's Day either. Through luck or fate, he was never in battle on that day.

Now, standing before his mother's coffin, shoebox in hand, Luke felt his heart breaking for a reason he couldn't name. He had thought about this, coming here, since he learned his father's true identity. Of seeking out the identity of his mother and visiting the grave. He'd thought about it through the war, through that horrible last battle, where he lost both enemy and father in one stroke of brutal destruction. He'd thought about this even as the war ended, but he never decided on it.

Because, there had been this horrible nasty thing that sneaked into his heart. Fear. What if his mom was as bad as his dad. He'd come to terms with the truth of his father. That his father was a child killer. And all that he'd killed after. But, if he was honest he didn't know if, given the choice, he would want to know what his father had done. What if he would just rather keep blindly believe in the lies that he had been fed, of Skywalker the Jedi in all his unstained glory?

With his mother, he had the choice. Ignorance truly was bliss, at least in these sort of situations. He could keep loving wholeheartedly. Keep believing in her goodness. Imagining that she must have been perfect. Keep loving this perfect image in his head and keep making cards once a year.

But, was it really love if he didn't truly know all of the person it was directed towards?

The question had dragged him from slumber many nights after the war. He knew all he needed to discover who he made his cards for, but he was too afraid to look into her eyes and know her.

Finally, he had decided that it wouldn't be fair to the woman who birthed him if he didn't know. Like he was disrespecting her or ignoring her somehow. And, that wasn't love.

So, here he was. In this legend's final resting place. Luke had spent months researching and studying the name Padme Amidala. Even longer the woman behind it. What he found completely blew him out of the water. His mom was the bomb. She was awesome. She was amazing. She was perfect.

Too perfect. Even now, standing beside her, Luke looked down at the white, pristine coffin and compared it to his scorched and battered, tacky and faded shoebox. His mom was amazing.

And all she got on Mother's day was a shoe box full of odds and ends cobbled together with zipties and often duct tape. Luke wished somehow that he could give her something better. She certainly deserved it.

But, here it was. This was all he had for her. This, and his love. Luke hoped it was enough, that she looked down and felt loved because he tried.

Here was the best he could offer.

Something wet rolled down Luke's cheek and landed on the shoe box, sinking into the worn material and leaving a dark dot. Soon, a few more joined it.

Luke tried to suppress a sob as he shakily( when did he get so shaky?) placed the box onto the coffin's lid. Through the tremors, his fingers gently lifted the lid off and set that on the coffin as well.

"Hey, Mom," Luke said, trying to keep his voice even over his emotions. "Happy Mother's Day. Umm,.. I'm Luke. I don't think we've ever met. I'm your son, well I mean obviously..."

Luke smiled nervously at the empty mausoleum, not sure how this conversation was supposed to go. He'd never talked to his mom before.

"I, I have a gift for you. More like a few, actually. See, I had this teacher that always told me to make you a card, no matter what. Here's the first one."

Carefully, Luke shifted through the shoe box, which had grown quite full over the years, gingerly drawing out the first card he had ever made. He placed it at the head to the coffin gently, wary of tearing the decades old paper. Across the surface was scrawled "haPPy MOthEr's baY!" in a child's clumsy hand.

Luke smiled again through his tears as he explained, "I couldn't tell the difference between my b's and my d's when I was little, Mom. You should have seen my homework, complete nightmare material."

Luke let out a small hiccup as more tears made their appearance. "And this is the one from one year later."

Another card was retrieved from the depths of the box. A corner flaked off as Luke laid it on the table, the paper succumbing to age. Luke winced internally and kept talking, explaining how he had got into a fight with Wedge over the red color stick while making this one and that that was why it had dirt stains on it.

One by one, year by year, Luke laid his cards out onto the tomb. While many were small, some, like the cloth which unfolded to be a square twelve inches long, were quite large. By the time Luke was done, most of the lid was covered with a variety of items, all bearing some rendition of "I love you mom" or "Happy Mother's day."

As, Luke lay the last card down, he felt his heart break again with that undecipherable emotion. Somehow, laying them all down, having recounted all the memories that related to them, it felt strange. Not unlike a scab being torn off, which was painful, but also like a release. Luke had given all he had, all his carefully crafted cards, but somehow in his heart, he knew that it would never be enough.

It couldn't replace his first words being "mama," couldn't replace walking his first steps with her, couldn't replace lullabyes that were never sung, stories never told. It wasn't enough, suddenly.

That empty place in his heart now ached with a passion. Because suddenly he knew, somehow, exactly what he had missed, would keep missing. And there would be no forgetting it. No going back to a vague longing, not when he could see the embodiment of all he wanted, needed, for his heart to be whole, laid out on a white coffin lid. He would never get to hug his mom. Never get to tell her she was beautiful or ask her for one more story.

Because she was dead. His mom was dead.

These cards wouldn't bring her back.

It wasn't enough.

Could never be enough.

The sob that burst from Luke's chest could not be withheld, so he didn't try. His arms found themselves wrapped around his own self. But it wasn't the hug he wanted. Not the one he needed. It hurt.

Luke wasn't even aware of anything to be thankful that no one was near the mausoleum, because his grief was not silent. His sobs threw his body into shudders as he leaned against the coffin for support. He was rendered blind as his tears blurred his vision.

The touch went unnoticed at first. It was warm and gentle. His tears were carefully wiped away, a hand gently cradling the side of his face before leaving to wrap around him as he leaned into the strange touch, welcoming any comfort in the face of his cold reality.

Warm, strong hands stroked up and down his back, fine boned fingers rubbing into his back to calm him. One hand lifted to rest on the back of his head, gently pressing it into a slim, yet soft, shoulder. The other hand continued to rub circles between his shoulders.

Time lost meaning as he sobbed his pain into the stranger's comforting embrace. Finally, tears spent, emotions all tired out, Luke drew back, bringing his hands up to wipe the remaining tears from his eyes. Now, he was finally calm enough to feel shame for his tears.

However, as he turned to apologize to his comforter, the words caught in his mouth. There was no one else in the mausoleum. He was alone.

And yet, he could sense a presence in the force. There was someone here, but they were beyond the visible, physical realm. Furthering his consternation was the item sitting before him on the lid of the coffin, amidst the numerous cards. A small, tan stuffed bear sat smiling with button eyes, as though it had been there all along.

Luke shuffled closer, unsure what his reaction should be. With trembling hand, he plucked up the bear and cradled it like a precious treasure in his arms. The bear was small, a little bigger than one palm. Its button eyes were mismatched, one slightly smaller than the other. The embroidered mouth was crooked, too. One side came up in a kind of smirk. It's nose was a large brown bead, scuffed and old.

Yet, the despite the shabby appearance, Luke held it like it was gold. And, it was. On the left foot, in old, slightly faded were the hand stitched letters "L- U- K- E." Just the sight of the old gold thread, weaving into the material of the bear's foot made Luke's breath catch in his throat and his heart beat wildly inside of his chest.

The little plushie was obviously hand stitched. As Luke ran his hand over the fabric, he could almost see fine boned fingers wielding a needle to carefully knit the fabrics together.

It should have been impossible, but Luke knew. Somehow, somewhere, Padme had made this bear with her own hands for her son.

Luke pulled the bear close, cuddling into it. He was surprised at the scent, distinct in the clear air of the mausoleum. It was a mix of roses and fresh rain. His mother.

Luke looked around the empty crypt, searching in vain for her. When she did not appear, he managed to gasp out, "I love you, Mom. I- I love you so much."

When Luke received no reply, he turned, still clutching the bear and began to exit the mausoleum. As he took his last step till the threshold, a wind suddenly kicked up, playing with the ends of his cloak and whipping his bangs into his face with a surprising chill.

Luke turned to look at his mother's final resting place and felt his heart stutter. The tomb was empty. There were no cards laid atop the coffin's lid. Even the box, forgotten by Luke, was gone. She had taken his gifts. She liked what he made.

An almost giddy feeling seemed to settle in the empty place in Luke's heart. Strangely enough, it didn't hurt.

As Luke turned for the final time to leave his mother's side, a voice whispered into his ear. It was a gentle woman's voice.

"I love you, too, Little One."


AN: I cried writing this. Wrote it all in one sitting too.

Happy Mother's Day!

So, I made 19 cards for my mom for the 19 years she's been a mom and gave her a treasure hunt around the house using riddles on the back of the cards. At the end of the hunt, she found me and I sang and played my harp for a song about her that I wrote. That somehow lead to this. To be fair, this was supposed to be happier, but as I was writing, I got to thinking. Padme never even got to meet her babies. SO, this turned out a little more sad than fluffy.

This also should serve as a stark reminder. Love your Mom! seriously! I don't know your situation, but it doesn't matter if you've been in a blood feud with her for ten years, you should appreciate and love on her for mother's day. Because there WILL come a Mother's day where you won't be able to, cause she's gone. Don't wait till she's gone to truly love her. Love her now, while she can feel loved and valued. I live in dread of the day when my mother doesn't (can't) pick up the phone. So, don't you dare wait. Even if you fight like cats and dogs, just tell her you love her!