Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day

Usually on Mother's Day I feel a little introspective. I think about my mother and perhaps write about my feelings.

I wrote this in 2006:
My dad's 50th birthday fell on Mother's Day this year. Jamie and I took him out to dinner after dad took me to the gravesite.
It rained and we couldn't find the grave for what felt like forever. When we finally did locate it, it was as though it had been hiding on purpose because how could we ever have missed it?
I said a few words to Mom and didn't linger. I was cold and there isn't a lot to say to engraved stone. It chilled me to think of her down there. Sometimes I get something out of going, this time it didn't make me feel very good.
I've been feeling quiet all weekend. Just, unable to really talk because I don't have conversation in me. I want to talk about how I'm feeling but at the same time I don't. I've been feeling lonely.
I really miss my mother. I'm crying in my apartment and I can hear my sobbing echoing just a bit. It feels so empty. I can feel the loss pretty acutely right now. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes I just feel how bad it hurts to not have her around and how lonely it makes me feel.
There is no one like your mother in the world, no one who knows you like she does and loves you like she does. No one. I feel a little lost without that. Where are the phone calls and advice and hugs and encouragement? They're nowhere. They're dead.
It can make you feel so in need of something you know you can't have. No one can replace her or what she gave me and what I'm missing, no matter how close another woman is to me. I hate Mother's Day.

I wrote this in 2003:

Another Mother's Day has come and gone. For those of us without mothers, it can be a hard day or an easy day, depending on how you feel.
I have in the past ignored Mother's Day since my grandmother died. She was the last mother I had so why bother paying it any attention?
Today I fought back tears while I was vacuuming the second floor in the tower. It all came back to me. Her funeral mass mostly. Seeing the three priests, Father Stan from school, Father Whalen with the heavenly voice and Father Tim who had seen Mom through her illness to the end, praying over her body and for her soul and for us.
Girls from school who saw me choking out tears and hugged me while I was slumped over the pew. Seeing the head boy look at me and pass me without a word, making it obvious he was there on business alone, which did not surprise me.
Her coffin that I had chosen for her being wheeled out of the church with Aunt Debbie walking in between Jamie and I as we cried and watched. We were clutching each other as we watched the box move forward; it was unbelievable that it was holding the body of my mother.
My cousin David and I making eye contact and I knew that he felt bad for me. I knew everyone did. I also knew that everyone in that church, save the the two others in the aisle, were thankful that they weren't me.
My dad trying to push his way into the aisle, trying to make his place in the proceedings. Me pushing him away and continuing, not allowing him to join. He was not there, he had no right to walk with us. We were the closest family she had and the ones she loved most. I couldn't let him in.
Watching my mother being put into the ground. Only a hazy memory. The only thing I can say is that I know I was there.
Lying in my cousin Christina's bed at the reception. Everyone crowding around me. I know I can say anything I want. I could get away with anything. All I want is to go to sleep with the people I have around me. I feel so alone. I need comfort but no one can give me what I need. I barely know what I need.
And I blink back my tears on the second floor in the tower and keep vacuuming. I've paid tribute to her and I have to get on with my day. And then I have to get on with my life. And then I pray I will have children to bring this day some new meaning for me.

And now that day is here. I spent the day at the spa, relaxing and giving myself a chance to miss my baby. And I did miss him. When I got home, I was looking forward to seeing his little face, which has begun giving me smiles. The Dude had a video to show me of Jack' smiles that he took while I was out. My milk let down while I was watching it. Funny hormonal tricks show you in physical terms that you are attached to your little baby.

He's sleeping in a new swaying swing that we bought recently. It's been a dream this evening, saving us from the Fussy Francis he usually becomes these days between 7:00 and 10:00. He's six weeks old tomorrow and it's kind of hard to put that time into perspective. I can't believe it's been only six weeks, and yet his birth seems so long ago. It's a blur.

I told myself I wouldn't expect much from the first three months, that they'd be hard and unenjoyable. But I undersold the experience. I'm tired, but there's joy. Caring for a newborn all day can be tedious, but there's a relaxing rhythm to it, under it all. It's work, but there's meaning behind it and you can slowly see things change and develop. And I know it'll get better.


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