Mother’s Day was harder than I had anticipated.
My brain knew that May 10 was no different than the day before, or the week before, or the month before. My mom was still gone – stolen by cancer in February.
I had told myself in the days leading up to that “Holiday” that there was no sense in getting upset or depressed about it because no amount of despair was going to change anything.
My brain knew that. My heart didn’t.
My reality on that particular day was simply this…I no longer have a mother. Well-meaning friends and family tried to help by saying things like “she’s still with you in spirit” and “as long as you remember the good times you will always have a mom.”
I can’t call her. I can’t drive to her house and talk to her over a plate of Wheat Thins, sliced cheese and tuna salad (that she always seemed to have on hand no matter when I came over. ) My daughter isn’t going to get to go to see her this summer and she’s not coming to my house for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
And because of that, Sunday really sucked. I tried to keep my chin up. I forced myself to attend the brunch I had (stupidly) made reservations for with other family members and helped clear out some belongings from a relative’s mobile home that is being sold. I tried to smile. I tried to be friendly. I don’t think I was very successful. My family probably thought I was being a bitch….which made me feel even worse.
Now that I’ve gotten a few days past it I’ve decided…I don’t feel guilty about that. Everyone has bad days. Not everyone is happy all the time. I miss my mom and I should be allowed to be miserable for a bit. Do I believe I have the right to be mean and nasty to people because I’m in a bad place?…absolutely not! But mistreating other people is a whole helluvalot different than being down in the dumps on a day that celebrates moms.
I’ve read a lot of blog and Facebook posts recently that put down the idea of the holiday in its entirety. They were resentful and a little bit rude about pointing out how hurtful the day can be to women who struggle with infertility, who choose not to have kids, or who have lost a mom. One post said that the church shouldn’t have asked the moms to stand up and be recognized because it would make other women who aren’t moms feel bad.
Sorry, but that, too, is bullshit.
It is ok for mothers to be recognized and it is ok for those who aren’t mothers to feel crummy about it. That is life. People in this country seem to be so preoccupied with offending someone else that we are sucking the joy out of people who would otherwise feel honored and happy for accomplishments they have achieved…like motherhood. And, yes, motherhood is an achievement. But we are seeing that everywhere, aren’t we? Let’s give every kid a trophy so no one feels bad and the MVP doesn’t really feel all that valuable at all. Let’s give every kid a certificate for SOMETHING at the end of the year so we don’t dent their self-worth instead of just the honor roll and perfect attendance students so their achievements don’t seem quite so grand.
I’ve held my daughter while she cried about not getting a trophy. I didn’t tell her that I’d go out and buy her something special for giving her best effort…I told her she just needed to work harder next time. And you know what? She did.
My own journey to motherhood was a hard-fought battle against infertility that I eventually won after numerous years of doctors appointments, testing and procedures. I cherish my daughter as my most precious gift from God! So, yeah, if I’m ever back at church on Mother’s Day and the pastor asks me to stand up, I will probably get misty-eyed thinking of my mom, and then I’ll stand up, and although I will have empathy for the women who don’t stand up, I won’t feel guilty for it.
Yup…Mother’s Day sucked this year…But I have faith that it won’t suck every year. I miss my mom. I will always miss my mom. But I also AM a mom, and am very happy about that.
If anyone has any happy stories about mother’s day, I would love to hear them. Actually, I NEED to hear them.
Until next time – Stay Loving. Kind. Generous and Strong