Seven years ago this week we found out my mom was terminally ill. And seven months later she died.
And so it is that Mother’s Day is fairly complicated for me and I hate that.
Most years, it seems, I’ve handled it just fine, life has been full and busy and constantly changing and this year, I’m not so sure what’s different, but this year I just want to skip it.
I don’t know that I can take the 943 Facebook statuses and accolades to moms. I don’t know that I could take a brunch or even church this year. I don’t know that I can take the Instagram pictures of moms and grandmas and grandchildren.
And that part, the grandchildren part is the suckiest part about losing your mom. H was just 20 months old the day of my mom’s funeral and my little girls were simply somewhere lost in my imagination. I hate that they don’t get their Grandma Nan in their life and I am jealous, yes jealous, of so many things they don’t get to experience because she’s not here.
I have no sympathy for the little annoyances your mother creates for you and when you tell me how she spoils your children so, I want to shake you.
Which makes me so mad. Yes, mad.
And then I am so very mad at the people in my life and family who choose to not acknowledge my children’s birthdays, or the ones who treat them unfairly and seem to forget all about them. How can they not want to love my children the way she would have? How can they not see what they are missing?
See one of the hardest parts of losing my mom wasn’t just losing her for me but it was losing her for them.
The calendar is full of land mines and I typically handle them all fine. Privately, quietly and quickly. May 14- date of diagnosis. November 14- her birthday, forever 51. December 13- the day of her death. December 17- the day of her funeral. Mother’s Day. One after another after another the dates stick out like they are in red on the calendar. Perhaps that is the flaw of having a good memory. But this year, oh this year, I mourn my loss especially hard. I wish I could tell you why.
This Mother’s Day, I’ll awake and my littles will spoil me with cards and books and special things they’ve worked hard on at school and with J, who is so good at things like that. And I will throw a smile on my face and we will enjoy the day together with joy even though I will forever mourn what should have been, what could have been. We will live it and I will be grateful for what I have, overwhelmingly so, even as tears drip down my cheeks and I mourn for what I’m missing.
“We’re different, those of us whose mothers have gone and left us to fend for ourselves. For that is what we wind up doing, no matter how loving our fathers, family or friends. On some deep emotional level, no matter our age, we fend for ourselves. … The funny thing is that the loss also makes us good and happy people in some ways, in love with life because we know how fleeting and how precious it can be.” – Anna Quindlen