Mothers Day has always been a rough one. At this point I feel like mentioning this kinda just annoys my wife. I don’t mean that in a harsh way, I understand. She just wants to have a great day, she wants to be free to love me, our daughter and our family and her mom and her Nana etc etc. She doesn’t want me to be sad or weird or dodgy, when I am all of these things. I clutter the landscape with my issues like a bank of foreboding dark and threatening skies, waiting to pounce upon anyone that trusted the sunny forecast they read last night.
Mothers day was always the one day I allowed myself to mourn, and to feel sorry for myself. Most of the time I resent my weaknesses, I am angry at my own whining or my bad attitude. Crying won’t help, wishing it would be different won’t do a damn thing and sharing with everyone how sad and heartbroken you are over something they can only uncomfortably try to comfort, what is by its nature, inconsolable? Fucking weak. Plus it’s just putting your sad little issue on someone elses plate, mucking up their day with your pathetic misery. Always seemed like a selfish path to take and never helped me either.
So once a year, I let myself mourn this hole in my life, to voice the secret wish that she was still here. Later I realized, it wasn’t about HER per se, since she was a rather horrible mother after all, but that I wanted A mother. A good one,..maybe that baked and stuff. I wanted a mom to share my good and bad days with and to be proud or ashamed of me. It’s hard to set your own moral code….a baseline is helpful. I wanted a mom that had stories of me. I wanted someone for whom, I was special enough, to remember. I wanted something other than all the scars to figure it out from.
Then I gave up my son, when I was 17. If I had kept him, I would have been like her (a really bad mom) and that just wasn’t an option. Mothers Day took a new turn downward into the abyss. It began to mark not only the failings of my own mother but my failings as a mother myself.
Let me just say it was a bad day and one of the few I truly allowed myself to grieve it all. I always stayed home except for my annual trip to clean up Gail’s grave. I refused communication with anyone. I spent that time destroying myself from the inside out. It was my day!
Then when I was 27, I had my daughter.
Again all the rules changed, but an about-face was required. Everyone in my life wanted to celebrate her existence, and I’m sure, break the encasement of sorrow I seemed so fond of. I mean, now I would be happy right??! I kept this one, we were doing all right, I had a family now.
Four years have passed and I’m better, better in general, healed in some places, still raw in others. I am better at being happy for the people in my life that love me no matter what, for my brilliant little girl and wonderful wife. I have an amazing mother-in-law and my sister-in-law is an angel. I have Tia’s, Aunties, Uncles and Grandmas that make my existence blessed.
My son is fucking brilliant, really, like a genius and he’s just a good person. . His family is also amazing. Although it took me 9 years to get over it, I finally made peace with that part. I’m not his mom, I mean, I gave birth to him and that was something that changed me forever, but I’m not his mom. Mourning that lack and all the ways his moms are better that anything I could have been, that makes no sense. It stopped me from reaching out to him, from loving them all as I should and saying things that might be hard, like “I love you”, knowing he didn’t have to say it back. We kind of annoy each other and act more like siblings, or a relatively closely aged niece and nephew. It’s pretty awesome and I hope we become friends as he gets older. I still hurt about it, and I still can be crazy about it all, but thankfully for everyone that deals with me, it’s a lot better.
So..Mothers Day. I still want to hide in a tree with a book and a bagged lunch. I still want to visit my moms grave and I will still be weird, because let face it, I’m weird on normal days. I will still slightly exasperate my wife and dampen her joy. Yet, I can smile on this day now, I can leave the house and get through the whole thing without crying (sometimes). I slightly resent not being able to lick my wounds and lay on the floor in a pool of my own misery, but hey flowers and cake help.