It wasn't until about last Thursday or so that I realized that today was Mother's Day. Mother passed away in 2009. That isn't such a long time ago. But still. She's not around and I'm pretty oblivious to the culture around me most of the time especially when it comes to advertising. But really, it didn't occur to me until one of the moms in my life told me her daughter was taking her to Tunica for the day.
A surprising number of my peers still have their mothers. R's mom is pushing 90-something if she's a day. J's mom is getting up there too. She told me yesterday that her mom wants a hamburger today and that she wants to get her ears pierced when she hits 90. Something tells me that these things will happen. Don still has both his parents and they are doing pretty well all things considered. Off the top of my head, he's the only one with the full compliment still although I'm sure that's not right.
And then there are my friends who are spending their first Mother's Day without their moms. My friend B lost her mom last Fall. Then her father up and died a week after that. I just can't imagine. I got a text from her late yesterday afternoon.
"I guess it's normal to be crying all weekend on the first Mother's Day without her, right?" the message said.
"It is normal," I wrote back." It is normal to be whatever you are. These things are markers and they are unsettling. But it gets better. Really it does."
Indeed, I managed to forget that today is Mother's Day.
She allowed as how she knew that I missed my own mother. Well, as they say on Facebook, "It's complicated."
Mother was so sick and miserable in her final days that her passing was a blessing. It would have been selfish to have wanted her to last 5 more minutes beyond her allotted time under the circumstances. Further, we didn't have much of a "parent-child" relationship the last 10-15 years of her life. It was like the roles had reversed and I was the caregiver. I was also the agent of her destruction and the occasional object of her anger and frustration.
Which I accepted. I didn't even take it personally. She was extremely ill. She hated not living in her home. Somebody had to wear the bulls eye. Might as well have been me. Don't misunderstand me. Mother was a very good person and was capable of great kindness. She was just miserable the last 10 years of her life. Like I said, I didn't take it personally. And mostly I just don't want to think about it.
I suppose that I miss the "concept" of having a mother in my life. But that's all it is. A concept. A warm fuzzy. It's not anything I really had since I came back from law school.
The more I think about it, perhaps the reason that I don't feel a particular void is because I am fortunate to have about 500 women hovering over me at any particular moment. I am, indeed, "mother-henned" to a fare-the-well. I cannot sneeze without somebody in pumps materializing with Kleenex, soup and the occasional stern lecture. Of course, I exaggerate. But not by much.
I don't know how I came to be this lucky. It's certainly nothing that I deserve. But neither am I going to turn it down.
So for one reason or another Mother's Day doesn't resonate with me much anymore. The first one spent without Mother was a marker. Now it's not even that.
As I told B, the markers get better over time. As for me, "it's complicated" has not.
We shall see if that ever changes. But it's OK if it does not.