The motherless mother

It’s the eve of Mother’s Day, a day that I have very mixed feelings about. On the one hand it feels very commercial and superficial yet when you have no mother it feels even more mixed. After all there is one to buy a cheesy card for and take out to dinner.Just reminders everywhere you go for what you no longer have, or maybe never even had in the first place.  For me there is the added burden that it was on a Mother’s Day that I broke my mother’s heart. It took years to repair the damage but now that she is no longer here even a sappy Hallmark infested day sends me into a quivering mess.

When my Mom first passed away, I was at an age where there were no other members in this new club that I found myself in; after all when you are barely 30 and your Mom is barely 50,the expectation is  that your Mom will be around. The early years were hard because I literally knew no other women in my age group who were motherless. Oh, I knew women who had rocky relationships with their Mom, hell they may have even wished their Mom was dead but in most cases unless there is serious dysfunction, most do like having dear ole Mom around.

Now as I start to dance towards 40 I have started to meet a few more women in this club, it’s a strange place to be. I think even more so when you have your own kids and see part of the life circle no longer in existence. Folks always ask  me or rather say “Well you have kids” as if somehow having my own kids takes away the pain and emptiness of no longer having a mother. Just as my kids are kids, in my mind’s eye I am still someone’s child except that one half of the duo that made my very life possible is no longer here and no matter what there will always be pain around the subject. Especially where I feel her life was cut short, after all 50 is too fucking young to die when no one prepared us instead we were led to believe she would be healed. So perhaps the reason I feel pain is because I never got closure on my terms.

So as I prepare to be treated well by my loved ones on Mother’s Day this post is for all the Moms who no longer have their babies and the babies (no matter their age) who no longer have their Mom’s. May you find peace on a day that sometimes feels like it’s all about cards and gifts yet the absence of the key players that make it Mother’s Day have you wanting to hide in the closet until Monday.

Mother’s Day

If you are a regular reader then you know that my mother is deceased. She passed away 5 years ago of cancer, seemed like she was recovering but at the last minute fate decided it was not to be and she left this world. Too soon in my opinion.

This is a repost from 2009, but it still sums up my feelings on Mother’s Day in general.

My Mom was my best friend and to some degree (as much as possible between mother and child) I was her best friend. She entrusted me with her secrets, and knew that no matter what she could count on me, just as I could count on her. Though to this day, I still beat myself up that I was not at her side when she passed. Sadly I could not get a flight to get home that day and was planning on getting home the next morning. However death waits for no man or woman.

However in the years since her death there is one day that really makes me crazy and its Mother’s Day. See on the anniversary of her death, I can keep my misery to myself and fake a happy face. Same with her birthday and even my birthday.

Yet Mother’s Day is one of those days that no matter where you go, you see images of mothers and their kids. Go out to eat and its the same thing. In fact I hate being out shopping anywhere near Mother’s Day as folks assume you are in need of a gift for your mother. Um, nope…my Mom is dead. Just shopping for myself.

Now I know folks who love to cry well its just a made up holiday, funny thing is I haven’t met too many folks who say that if their mother is deceased. In fact among women and men I know whose mothers are deceased Mother’s Day serves as a reminder of what you don’t have. Even if your mother was a raving bitch, imagery of mothers still can send you over the edge,. I know because my own mother had a strange relationship with her mothers.

There was her birth mother who decided when my mom was 9 months that she didn’t want to be a mother anymore, so she left my Mom and her father…this was the 1950’s so it was a tough time for my Mom. My Mom eventually met her birth-mother at 16 and they did end up having a relationship, in fact since my Mom’s death I have come to know birth -grandma as I call her. Then there was my Mom’s step-mother whom she had a rather tumultuous love hate relationship with. In some ways I think it was because my mother did not have the type of mother that she wanted and needed that she was driven to be super-mom with her own kids. She was a stay at home Mama at a time (70’s-80’s) when more women were going to work, instead choosing to be home with us.

She was a good mother though a deeply flawed person….look, I admit a lot but sharing my Mom’s flaws isn’t going  happen.  No, she had her flaws and yet the older I get I am learning from them, though many days I wish she was here to get guidance from.

So Mother’s Day is bittersweet at best and while many would say but you have your own kids, indeed I do but even grown up Mothers some times wish we had our Mommies.

For those who have your mothers in your life, I say honor and cherish her and not just one Sunday out of the year but all the time. I always assumed my Mom and I would become gray-haired old ladies together but now she’s gone. I should add if your Mom is not in your life due to issues then feel free to discard my advice. If your Mom is gone, then enjoy  the memories of her that make you smile. Over the years I can finally look back without bursting into tears and on Sunday there will be white flowers on my table to honor my mother. In the African-American churches that I was familiar with as a child, on Mother’s Day women would wear either a red or white flower. Red indicated that your mom was alive, and white that she had passed on.  So while I am not inclined to wear a flower, instead they will be on my table reminding of how my Mom always used to say get me flowers while I am alive because I don’t need em while I am dead. Like my Mom, I have grown to like flowers, they add a certain energy to the house.

If you are a Mom, happy Mother’s Day to you.