When Mom is Dad…some thoughts on Mother’s Day

I wrote this piece several years ago but it is still timely as we approach Mother’s Day 2015.

Mother’s Day will be here in a few short days and while it is a day of great emotion for me due to the loss of my own beloved Mother, this year I am flipping the script. For 31 years I had the best Mom in the world (at least in my world) and losing her crushed me. I thought she would be here forever and most certainly didn’t expect to lose her so early in life but that is the nature of life. We just don’t know when we will leave.

Yet in the nine years since my Mom died there has been someone playing the role of mother in my life. While my dad would probably have my head for saying this (let us be happy that Papa of BGIM is not online) the truth is there have been times in the past nine years when I needed a mom. Even adults with their own kids occasionally need to be mothered.

I probably should point out that before Mama of BGIM took ill and died; my Pops and I had a decent relationship. It wasn’t bad but there were times when it could have been better. As far as anything related to womanhood, my Dad was a hands-off dude. Except for the time when he came home bearing coffee cake to celebrate my first period at age 11.  A truly tender moment, though I suspect at the time I was mortified that my mother felt the need to share these details with my father.

Papa of BGIM a few years ago.
Papa of BGIM a few years ago.

In the years since my mother’s passing there have been times when I needed a woman’s advice…I needed my mom.  One of those times was when I was pregnant with the seven year old. My dad reached out to his sisters and loaded himself up with information to share, the sort of annoying stuff that one’s mother does but at the time and even now I appreciate my father going that extra mile to fill my mother’s shoes. Then there was my breast cancer scare, which is definitely a strange thing to discuss with one’s dad and even my dad has acknowledged in those moments, it is a shame that my Mom is not here.  There have been many more moments when it was clear that my father was taking off his dad hat and attempting to wear my mother’s hat, no matter how awkward it felt for both of us. For that I thank you Dad on this Mother’s Day weekend for recognizing that there were times when I needed my mother and though you didn’t know what the hell you were doing, you were willing to try.

In thinking about my own situation it made me think of all those who play the roles of mother in someone’s life but aren’t officially recognized as mothers. Mothers are the ones traditionally seen as the caregivers to children but the reality is anyone in our village is capable of mothering because loving and nurturing is not just relegated to mothers. So while this Sunday may involve being pampered as mothers or pampering our own mother’s, let us not forget all that mother to those in need of mothering.



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