Eek. Mother's Day. The holiday almost everyone forgets for those who lost their mothers. It is a bit of a club. You cannot understand the loss until it happens to you. Yes, you say you can sympathize but you, in no way, can empathize.
When my late mom passed away when I was in college, it was before Mother's Day. I remember sitting at a table in my sorority house for breakfast one day. Everyone was talking about their moms, the day, and what gifts to give their moms. I sat there. Nada. No mention my mom died twenty days earlier. I recall mumbling, "I do not like Mother's Day." I probably said hate, but my late mom forbade us from using the word hate or using slang.
Mother's Day was tough for twenty years. No joke. She missed my college graduation, my heartbreaks, my move to Atlanta, my job promotions, my pets I adopted, my cars, my homes, my future husband, my wedding, our three failed adoption agencies, my miscarriage, our other ivf trials, LP finally finding us, LP's baptism, and dealing with a year-long adoption trial.
I am now a teacher, just like she was. I am a mother, just like she was. I live out West, as she always wanted to do. I carry on her traditions: cheese fondue in front of the Christmas tree, Mass, annual Christmas ornaments for LP and our nephew, among many others.
I think of her every day. My entire being no longer aches. I do not feel her presence like I used to but I miss her nonetheless. She rarely visits me in my dreams. I know she is gone yet she makes an appearance now and then to have lunch in my dreams. I ache for more of those dreams.
After eleven years of trying to become a mother, I gave up and our adorable son "LP" found us. She brought him to us. He is chatty and social. He is just like her. We call him the mayor because he is definitely not shy. I was a quiet child with my mom constantly shoving me toward a cashier to buy a candy bar saying, "Be assertive!" LP is total payback. I cannot, I repeat, cannot go anywhere without him talking to absolutely everyone. Touche, Mom.
At any rate, after 21 years without my mom, and being a new mom myself, Mother's Day is okay for me now. May I have a moment with my ipod and cry? Sure. All of us in the "club" will probably do so. Husbands, please let us have that moment. Ten minutes of crying in the shower or bath will make it a better day. Motherless daughters deserve at least ten minutes on Sunday. Please let us have it. It is healthy and normal. Thank you.
Happy Mother's Day to all who have lost their moms. Although they are gone, they still deserve honor on Sunday. Xo.
Kellie Caldwell wrote the acclaimed blog "I Should Have Had 10 of You". Click here to read the first entry.
She is also Colin's Gawel's sister.