Mother’s Day. A day for mothers. A day to show our love for our mothers. A day for husbands to remind the kids to show extra love for mom. A day for husbands to show extra love and attention to their wives (even though they are not their moms), thanking them for being good moms. Although I’ve bought into this special day for years, I have always believed that every day should be Mother’s Day. Not a unique thought; I’m sure I’m not the only one to think this way, and I feel the same for Father’s Day. My mom really needed my brothers and me to remember her on this day, though. The main reason was that my dad was one of those husbands who didn’t think it was necessary, since she wasn’t his mother. He also didn’t celebrate her birthday or their anniversary; not a great role model.
My dad brought out the neediness in my mom, a characteristic of her personality that seemed to stop showing when she became terminally ill. Although many miles separated us during the last year of her illness, I remember the visits we had most fondly. When I realized we couldn’t talk on the phone anymore, I took the next plane to the east coast. She lost the ability to speak, but she had the most amazingly large, blue expressive eyes, and I knew what she was thinking. She was bald, and she let me take pictures of her, just looking into the camera. I felt her aching to communicate and feeling trapped inside of her head.
Everyone said that she waited for Madelyn and me to arrive before letting go. Despite plane cancellations and layovers, we were able to sit with mom before she passed away the next day.
I think I’ve inherited some of her sadness about life (if that can be inherited); maybe it’s in the cells – the cells remember. I promised myself that if I became a parent, I wouldn’t be as needy as my mom. I would be happier more often, and would instill a half-full attitude in my child, where my mother’s was half-empty. It’s not easy to do all of that given this crazy world, but I keep that goal uppermost in my mind every day.
Where am I going with this….I don’t really know. It’s Mother’s Day; a time for contemplation about what is gone, and hopefully celebration for what is now. I miss my mom, because after all she was my mom. I also think that Madelyn got lucky, because I understand her and am happy to be on this journey with her. We’re really different, my mom and me.