The Complications of Mother’s Day

Me, my mom, Sue, and brother, Victor on May 20, 2005
“Beyond all lessons, beyond the model she provided, my mother gave me a parent’s ultimate gift: she made me feel lovable and good. She paid attention; she listened; she remembered what I said. She did not think me perfect, but she accepted me, without qualification.” –Fredelle Maynard
The week leading up to Mother’s Day is hard for me. I have been weepy all week. I didn’t understand why I was crying for no reason, why I was blue, why I’ve had no desire to do anything, why I suddenly became very interested in Cheetos. And then it dawned on me that Mother’s Day is coming up. And Mother’s Day is hard. It’s a very hard day for me.
This Sunday will be my fourth Mother’s Day that I get to celebrate with my mother at her grave instead of bringing her a gift and eating brunch with her. Honestly, it’s no fun celebrating Mother’s Day in a cemetery. It’s the one holiday that brings me to my knees.
The first Mother’s Day without my mother was awful. I wrote about my feelings here. I thought by the fourth one it would be easier, but it’s just not. In 2007, I got my Mom a necklace for Mother’s Day that was an “S” with two yellow stones in it, her favorite color. Now that necklace is mine, and I will wear it on Sunday.
I posted the quote above because it perfectly describes my relationship with my mother. Was she a perfect mother? No, but who is? But she was perfect for me. I hope I can give my own children the kind of love and acceptance she gave me.
Sometimes I just want to shout into the air at my Mom, “why aren’t you here? Why did you have to leave us?” People always hand me these platitudes that my mother is my guardian angel watching over us and she still gets to see my kids grow up. To quote M’Lynn from the movie “Steel Magnolias,” my reaction is, “maybe I’m just selfish, because I’d rather have her here.”
So you see my friends, my feelings for Mother’s Day are complicated. I know a lot of people have issues surrounding this holiday. Whether they have a complicated or non-existent relationship with their mother, whether they are part of the motherless child’s club like me, whether they are desperate to be a mother, and for whatever reason that blessing has been denied to them, etc. I know I’m not the only one who has mixed emotions surrounding this day. I know a lot of women who skip church on Mother’s Day.
I often forget that this holiday is for me as well. Oh yeah, I’m a mother too, and my sweet kids want to bring me breakfast in bed, and give me the presents that they made in school that they’re so proud of. So while I am mourning the loss of what I once had and will never have again, I will revel in the tender faces of my children and I will try to be the kind of mother to them that the above quote encompasses. Just like my Mom was to me.
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4 thoughts on “The Complications of Mother’s Day

  1. I'm so sorry Marisa. I understand the "why did you leave us" feeling. My worst nightmare (which I have several times a year and it's awful) is that I see my mom and I'm SOOO happy to see her…she's alive! She's beautiful! I can talk to her and hug her and tell her how much I missed her. Then….in the dream I realize that she's not dead and when I ask about it, she just says that she left. Not died. Left. Our family, her husband, her kids. She chose to leave us. And then I just sob and sob and sob and I'm so very angry at her, and it's horrible and I wake up feeling so very terrible and lonely. It sucks. Obviously my subconscious has some deep issues about her dying at such a young age. Anyway, I'm so sorry. Hang in there.

  2. I'm sitting here after reading your blog..tears streaming down my face. I realize that I didn't appreciate my mom enough while she was here. I miss her too and it has been 22 years since she passed. I guess that moms always have a special place in their childrens hearts. Yesterday would have been my parents 81 wedding anniversary..dad died 1 year short of reaching 50 year anniversary. I'm looking at 45 years this year and hope that we have enough years left in our arriage to reach a significant mark. Love you and your great expressions on life.

  3. This year I decided not to give Mother's Day any power. I read so much outpouring of pain on the internet from people separated by adoption. It made me feel sad and also determined not to cave to it.I asked my husband not to give me flowers and I spent the day working and being busy. I also sent nice messages to all the mothers I know.It can be a huge trigger a day like this. I'm sorry for your loss. Losing your mother is a huge loss, a mother is not someone that can be replaced.I'm glad for you that you have good family and friends around you. I'm also glad that you have your children in your life and that they make you feel special on Mother's Day.

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