I accepted graciously. After all, dinner and flowers are always nice, especially with your dad.
But it always upset me, too. I'm not a mother, and back then I didn't even have Rick's boys on loan. When your biological clock is ticking, that becomes a sticky wicket.
And, I didn't have a mother anymore. The woman whose pearls I tugged on, who cheered my successes, urged me on, help nurse my wounds, wasn't there anymore.It was a tough day for me. We'd go to a restaurant and see happy families eating out -- sometimes two or three generations. Talk about the double whammy. The two things I didn't have -- kids and mom -- were all around me. And it made me almost impossibly sad. Even now, writing this, my eyes fill with tears as I recall that sadness.
Yet, it meant so much to him. And back then I couldn't figure out why.
I think I know now.
For dad, celebrating Mother's Day with their only child was a way to remember mom. It was a way he could honor her, celebrate her, perhaps speak of her in a different way. After all, our family never met a holiday it didn't like and Mother's Day was her day.I suspect if I had shared my feelings of sadness, we would have talked about them or perhaps even chosen a less family centered venue. I would have understood that in giving me flowers, he wasn't trying to replace her, but honor her, through her daughter.
We could have done it better -- but I wanted to protect him.
It wasn't until many years after his death, in May, when I was in counseling with a very wise soul named Sylvia and carping about my upcoming Mother's Day apprehension that I began to see.
And one of the places she lives is inside me.
I still have a hard time in May, but it's a lot better. Greg always remembers and has done so from fairly early on in our life together (un-aided, I might add, which makes it all the more meaningful.)
And while this year I can't send flowers or a card to Mom's sister Iris, who died last summer, I can salute the other moms of the world.
To Rick's Mom, Kitty: You've given me the best gift of them all. There aren't enough words in my heart to express my thanks.
To the moms of my friends: Thanks for sharing our sons or daughters with the world.
To the moms and grandmas I know who manage families, jobs, kid activities and more -- often under great stress and challenge: Thanks for giving to them now, for they will learn how to pass that gift along to others.
To the moms and grandmas I don't know, but do the same as those I do: The world has or will benefit from the contributions of your children.
I send Mother's Day greeting to you all and salute you for all you have brought to our world. Thank you.
Please don't forget your comments on all posts till the end of the month are entered in my "crystal drawing" as first mentioned in this post.