Sunday, May 9, 2010
Mother's Day. A Bittersweet Day.
Happy Mother's Day.
I heard that all day long. As I worked, as I shopped, as I stayed home and answered the phone, as I watched TV.
It is a special day for moms, I know.
But what if you are not a mom? Or don't have a mom? Or don't really like your mom? Or recently lost your mom?
Or like today, when I had to call a woman to let her know that her sweet 88 year old mom, who was sitting and eating cake yesterday, collapsed and died today.
Then it becomes that bittersweet day.
I know it is bittersweet for me. I lost my mom over a decade ago. I am a mom, so that helps ease the pain a bit. But it does not take away the fact that I no longer have a mom.
A mom can be such a source of so many issues in our grown up lives. I am not a psychologist, so I can't really say what all of that means, if anything. But I do know that we all come from moms, and that makes us all connected somehow, so we all get it. And we are all in the same boat, really. And we will all one day lose our moms, no matter what type of relationship we have with them.
Some may have lost their moms in childhood, even though they are still very much alive, even today. Some have lost them to alcoholism or substance abuse or from an argument years ago that festered into a distance that has never truly been bridged. Some have lost them to a mean disease like cancer or Alzheimer's. Some may have been abused by them and chose to leave, but it is still a loss no matter how you slice it.
The Hindus have a saying, "Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon falls on the knife, it is still the melon that suffers."
And that is so true.
So whether we chose to lose our moms, or fate lent a hand, we will all have that same bittersweet day.
And let us not forget those gals that cannot become a mom. Infertility is cruel on any day, but especially heartbreaking on this day.
And to those that are celebrating a generational Mother's Day today, embrace this day fully. Don't take it for granted.
I overheard someone today complaining while I stood behind them in line at Whole Foods. They were loudly complaining about the fact that they had to buy so many flowers for so many moms.
"I have to buy 6 bouquets. One for my mother, and my grandmother; one for my dad's mother and his stepmother and one for my husband's mother and his grandmother, too. I hate Mother's Day."
I could have hit her. Does she have a clue as to how lucky she is? She also had twins in a jogger and another toddler screaming nearby. (That would probably explain the bad mood, but I digress.)
She had the golden ticket, but couldn't see past the minor inconvenience of it all.
One day she will.
I then drove past a cemetery where people were placing flowers on graves. Another sad reminder that we should never take anything for granted.
I love being a mom. But I don't expect any thanks today. (Even though I got cards and gifts and flowers and a wonderful home cooked meal.)
I want instead to thank my husband and daughter for giving me the gift of motherhood. It is the best part of me.
I hope someday that my daughter will think of me and smile.
That would be the best Mother's Day gift ever.
(P.S. I also want to thank my mother-in-law Gen, she is the best. Thanks Gen.)