Especially when you don’t have one anymore. This hallmark created holiday has arrived and I’ll be thankful once this day is over. As if I don’t feel the hole in my heart that my Mom’s earthly departure carved out enough, this holiday to remind people to call Mom, get a gift for Mom or acknowledge her existence, forces me to feel that hole even more. All week I’ve had to either zone out while listening to the reminders on the radio or avert my eyes from the restaurant signs using this day as a sales tactic. A friend asked me last night, during our girl’s night, how I am doing this weekend given Mother’s day is today. I appreciated her asking because most people do not ask anymore how I am coping with this loss. It doesn’t matter how long ago the death occurred, the loss is forever and doesn’t just go away. I understand why people don’t ask though. I think they fear it will remind me of the pain and sorrow but the thing is, them asking doesn’t remind me. Living while my Mom is not, is a daily reminder. It’s a weird mix of wanting people to ask, to acknowledge the loss yet not knowing how to respond because I don’t really know how I am.
At this moment I’m good, but other moments I break down. It could be caused by a hallmark holiday such as today, or my birthday, or when something major happens in my life or even during random moments such as when I was painting a room or when I cut my foot with the back of a hammer. Or when Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum) came on while playing ping pong, or today when I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 which was funny and action-packed but heart breaking too. The plot line revolves around the main character, Peter Quill, who watched his Mom die from brain cancer when he was young and the sadness that colors his world. He transforms his pain to save the Galaxy which seems to be how we can find meaning in pain. Transform it into something beautiful, helpful, loving, inspiring. The pain can be transformed, which isn’t easy or quick, but the pain will still remain. It just gets infused into everything you create and spreads it around so you can try to make sense of it or begin to accept it. Like any wound, it takes time to heal. My wound is still pretty raw and each time the hole heals a little more, life happens and it gets scraped and re-opened. Even though it’s constantly getting disturbed, it heals a little more each time. One day it will be a scar, something never to be forgotten, but will not break open so easily, so often.
Every day is Mother’s day. We don’t need something pre-printed on yearly calendars to dictate when we should celebrate Moms. Celebrate Mom every day by being present. That’s all of us really want from anyone, whether it’s family, friends, lovers, co-workers, is to be seen and to be with people who are truly present with us. Happy Mother’s Day every day to those who are mothering themselves, to animal and human mothers, to the friends and family who mother others. Thank you to all the friends and family who mother me in different ways.
“No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you’d had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her.”
―Adriana Trigiani, Big Stone Gap