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.