I usually detect the Blues creeping into my consciousness near most Holidays. Mother’s Day is no exception. I know, I know. It’s supposed to be about getting breakfast in bed, and useless but treasured trinkets from your kids; or, about a celebratory meal honoring all the living Moms in the family. But these days, it’s more about trying to downplay those memories, and deal with visiting my aged Mom at the nursing home. I’ve written extensively about this subject, so those of you who read my blogs know how tough it’s been to watch this decline. Many of you identify with this process, and have your own troubles to deal with today.
But, something I saw on television this morning has turned me inward and upward today. There were several stories, well produced and worthy of the tears I shed at the end of each segment, about people who had lost their Moms already. In these stories there was a common thread of resilience and gratitude in which I found inspiration. The adult children who shared their experiences spoke of learning to get to know their Moms better as they themselves aged, even though their Mother was no longer physically with them. This makes sense.
The older we are, theoretically, the wiser, yes? So, as we mature and grow, we can more clearly see how we connect to our Moms, and what they gave us. And that, as one person said, is our heritage.
I am thinking today of how grateful I am to have had my Mother for all these years; to help me see what I wanted and what I didn’t want. She gave me so many lessons in how to persevere, how to let things go that weren’t all that important, and how to move on. She also gave me a sense of why it’s important to always be there for your children. No matter how complicated, oblique, or deeply layered our relationship became, I always knew that she was, bottom line, on my side.
One of my good pals lost his Mother to a heart attack when he was still a very young man. All these years he has lived without a Mom; and today I feel a special sadness for his losses. When he got married, he didn’t have the joy of that hug from his Mom after he kissed his bride. When he got divorced, he didn’t have the comfort of going to his Mom’s for lasagna and encouragement. When he produced a wonderful album of his original music, he didn’t get to call her, while she was listening for the twentieth time, and have her tell him how great his music was. Or hear her singing along to her favorite of his tunes. And when his Dad died, he didn’t have his Mom there to console him and remind him of how much his Dad really did love him always.
I’ve been lucky to have the connection I’ve had with my Mom. It’s never been a perfect relationship, but I guess there really is no such thing, anyway. I’ve seen what happens to people who aren’t assured of their Mother’s love: I’ve seen the way the World rips them apart and tosses them into the churning Sea, time and again. When they don’t have that certainty, they have no anchor to hold them fast against the tides.
Today, in this present tense, I know you won’t understand much of what I am saying. Your dementia has taken you from me and the many things we shared. But I am going to say it anyway….just in case there’s an Angel listening that can translate for me. Thanks, Mom, for being there. For giving me life. For keeping me safe and dry. For teaching me how to be so grateful that I get to be a Mom to my darling Caroline. Thanks for setting an example, that was passed down from your Mother, on how to love and share and “take what comes”. I love you, Mom.