a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Friday, May 11, 2012

mother day thoughts

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day. Some years I was elated about it, some years it was downright painful, most years I probably didn't honor my mom like I should have on the day, these days if my family remembers it, that's great, if they don't, that's okay too.

Growing up, my mom never wanted much, if any, recognition on Mother's Day. She said on several occasions that she wanted to be appreciated every day of the year, not just on one day set aside for it. I know there were a lot of times we didn't appreciate her efforts; we were young, we were self centered, we truly didn't grasp the burdens she carried as a young widow raising three children alone.

As I grow into young adulthood, I do remember appreciating my mom more and celebrating Mother's Day with a card and a thank you, not much in the way of celebrating with gifts or flowers or a dinner out.

Got married, juggled to celebrate Mother's Days between our two sets of moms. Then came the year that I desperately wanted to be a mom but infertility was stopping that to be a reality. Mother's Day suddenly became an ominous date on the calendar, something I wanted to avoid, but who can avoid it when it is advertised in any and all media available at the time. Its hard to hear "Happy Mother's Day" when you so want to be a mother. Its hard to sit through a church service that babies are being dedicated when you just want to have one of those to hold and love yourself. You are happy for the parents up there, but you still covet so much what you cannot have.

My first Mother's Day as a mom through adoption, but still a mom, I wanted to celebrate in abundance; dinner out, my daughter and me in matching outfits. I wanted the whole world to know I was finally a mom. I had achieved what seemed to be the impossible after so much time of waiting.

Enjoyed the rest of the Mother's Days, maybe a dinner out, maybe family would make dinner for me, maybe if we were living close to our moms we saw them on Mother's Day and celebrated together, if not a card in the mail, maybe or maybe not a call to them on that day. Always liked the cards made by the kids at school or other special art projects to honor moms.

Then 2006 hit, 12/13/2006 to be exact. The inevitable happened, expected, but totally in denial about it. My mom died. She lived a long full life, lived to 85, but she was gone. No more celebrations, no more hearing her voice, no more experiencing her incredible love for her children. I know I will see her again for all of eternity and I'm so thankful God gave her to me to be my mom, but she's dead, I'm alive and I am missing her soooooo terribly much.

Mother's Day 2007 is coming. I see the advertisements, I see the cards at the store. My throat chokes, I want it all to be over, all to be done, I want nothing to do with it. Can I crawl under a rock and emerge the Monday afterwards? In reality I can't. I'm working mom and a mom of a high school senior, turbulent times. I can't run away and hide.

I cry through the whole church service.

Later in the day hubby and son will take me out to dinner.We'll have a wonderful time; I get to sit in the front of son's Cadillac; I'm catered to. I'm loved and appreciated. Though I always know I am loved and appreciated; they may not say it in so many words, but I do know how they feel.

I settle back to a new routine. My mom's gone, she isn't coming back, I will always miss her, she was a great mom. I go along with hubby to celebrate his mom on Mother's Day. I stand aside while he looks for cards for her. I say "Happy Mother's Day" to her and wish her well as I miss my mom. I accept other family members "Happy Mother's Day" sentiments to me somewhat graciously but I'm not their mom and do they really know how I succeeded or didn't succeed as a mom? Do they know any of our family dynamics, what we experienced, what we lived through, how faithful God was through it all?

And now this year, 2012. Its a new routine. 11/16/2011 hubby experienced the inevitable. His precious, much loved mom died, having lived a full life at the age of 85.

This is his first Mother's Day without a living mother. I know it will be a hard day for him. I'm like "its okay, we won't celebrate it, what do you want to do?" He already has seen it tugging at his heart. He sees the cards.........he knows he won't be searching for the right one to buy.......he knows it will be a difficult day.......

Enter son. So much going on in his life, one day I may update it all, let me just say all is going well and thank you Lord for your faithfulness.  Son won't be in town come Mother's Day. So we celebrated it early tonight, delicious dinner at Phil's BBQ. Sort of spur at the moment, planned to go but sitting down doing a toast, I say "we'll make this an early Mother's Day celebration". All agree. It doesn't matter what day it is on the calendar, we are together, enjoying a meal and each other's companionship.

Enter niece. My sweet  so wonderful niece. Had lunch with her today. She invited us to their Mother's Day celebration come Sunday afternoon. Of course we will go. 

I will remember always my mom; I will love her always.

Hubby will remember his mom; he will love her always.

Son loves me always; he doesn't need a special day to tell me that. He says it every time he leaves the house or every time we hang up the phone.

Mother's Day is a hard one; I have mixed feelings about it. Be kind and gentle to each other come Sunday. Some will be grieving, some will be sad, some will be ecstatic, some will be in labor, some will hurt, some will be so happy.

I do have mixed feelings about Mother's Day.

and you??



I was so touched by the things you said. My daughters are in that self centered mode you described. Everything is always about them and their world. Good or Bad. If I hear from them, I do. If I don't, I don't. My husband does what he can to make it up to me, but it's not really his place. I saw my husband struggle when his mom passed on. So I understand what you've been through. I still have mine, but at a distance. We SKYPE, email, talk on phone. But it's not the same as being there in person. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to YOU. You take care. You have a wonderful son and sweet hubby.

JosephAlsarraf said...

Ya, we really don't celebrate Mother's day at my house either. My mom is like yours she doesn't really care about Mothers day and doesn't like us to get her anything so, I never know if I should or, what I should get her. I don't know maybe i'll just get her a card or, something.

Sorry about y'all s moms....

I hope you have a great Mother's Day! : )

Shelly said...

This was a very moving post. My own mom is well and in great health, but my husband's mom is moving farther and farther down the road in Alzheimer's each day, and so we are trying to put as much as we can into this year's Mother's Day celebration.

I'm glad you will be with family~

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sometimes it's a family type celebration here. I no longer have my mom and most of my children don't live close by but they have made the effort in the past to get together. Sometimes it's a day mostly spent home alone. Last year on my mothers day I was in a car accident on the way home from the camper. Yes, it's a mixed bunch of emotions here too. I hope your Mothers Day is an enjoyable one. Nice you got to celebrate already with your son and nice your niece is making it a special day at her house. Any time I can celebrate with any of my family is a special occasion it doesn't have to be Mother's Day.

Hollie said...

I know it's hard for you both! Try to enjoy the good memories of your Moms. Hugs to you both!!

Jeanie said...

Very thoughtful post, Betty. My mother died when I was 18 and I remember the years after always being hard on Mother's Day. They gave out flowers at church...a red one if your mother was alive and a white one if she was not. That somehow just made it worse.
I hope with the bitter and the sweet that you Mother's Day is a good one.

Deanna said...

I wish this mother had not put make up on before reading this post... it is running with tears. You laid it all out there... thank you.

Mother's day is definitely a tough one in many ways. I will be lucky enough to spend mother's day with two of my children and their families (6 of the grandones) at the Zoo on mother's day. This means we won't be there for Jim's mom, who is in a nursing home. Selfish? Maybe. We are going to go visit her tonight. The thing is, she won't remember one way or the other!

Have a wonderful day Betty. Thank you for this post.

Dana said...

What a beautiful, moving post. I was very touched by what you said, especially the wise advice you gave in the third to last paragraph. Happy Mother's Day, friend. :)

Dot said...

Very touching, Betty. I do remember how badly I felt the first Mother's Day without Mom as I walked past the Hallmark cards in the drugstore aisle.

I like the new picture, BTW 8-)

Betty WSch. said...

ME TOO!! VERY mixed feelings! I just posted about it actually. Your post was very touching and I feel some of the same things you wrote about. It is a special day, but also very "touchy".
Thinking of you!

PS. Would love to read an update on your son and that daughter you mentioned.

Toriz said...

I have mixed feelings too, and with my Mother in the UK and hubby's in Canada (which means 2 Mothers' Days, because they can't possibly do it on the same date like with Fathers' Day) I have it twice.

On the one hand I want to celebrate my Mam, and then my Mother-in-law. On the other hand I've been trying now for 9 years... *Sigh*... Hubby tries to make me feel better about it by buying me something from the furkids, but it's not the same.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Oh Betty, you have had your share of sadness regarding Mother's Day.
I am so sorry. It's hard to be happy when so much sadness lingers in your heart. I am glad you were able to go out to dinner. As you know we celebrated last week. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. (((HUGS)))

Lynn Proctor said...

what a lovely touching post--i too will be having the first mothers day without my mom--and my husband's mom has already gone also--i will be thinking of your husband on the day---it is great to be a mom--happy mothers day to you<3

notes4neta said...

What a heartfelt post! You are so right, Mother's Day can bring up so many varying emotions, depending on the situation. I'm glad you had a nice dinner together with your family.

Al Penwasser said...

No mom, no grandmom, no mother-in-law, no grandmother-in-law. All gone. But, their memories linger on. And that will make the day special for us.
And that, I suppose, is what makes life what it is.

SweetMarie said...

You have given me tears. I wish I could give you a BIG hug! I will be spending Sunday with my mother and grandmother. I'm very blessed to have them both! Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother's Day to you, Betty!

SweetMarie said...

You have given me tears. I wish I could give you a BIG hug! I will be spending Sunday with my mother and grandmother. I'm very blessed to have them both! Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother's Day to you, Betty!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Like you, my feelings have ranged the whole wide spectrum depending on the year and the season in my life. This year my heart is centered on my DIL for Mother's Day. Hoping her first one is all she ever thought it would be and something really special to remember. - Barbara
Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Janice's footsteps said...

I am so blessed to have been able to write you a comment telling you that you are healing well from your mix emotions just by putting them out there for all to se you are able to feel love from all over the world and know you are being watched over by 100's of mom's with love. I pray for your husbands heart too ! death is tough for us to bare but to know so many care ahh. Have a great Day Sunday.

rmslil said...

My Mom went through her 1st Mother's Day without her Mother last year. She died the Saturday after Mother's Day in 2010. She is doing better this year. Last year was bad and having a sister like she has did not help. She called to say to pray for her beause she was her mother for 70 years, 2 years longer than my Mom had her so she shouldnt be grieving as much. That statement really made it worse. Tomorrow I will cook dinner for the family and celebrate the gift of my Mother.

Linda B. said...

Holidays can be tough when loved ones are missed. Glad our government saw fit to honor mothers and fathers though! But like your wise mother said, nice to be appreciated everyday! :) Enjoy Mother's Day with family!

Martha said...

Of course those sad thoughts creep in for me too but my whole family has always practiced love an appreciation everyday and down played most holidays seeing them as too commercialized. Like you said, it doesn't take a specific day to celebrate those we love.

I miss the special Mother's Day brunches I always had for my mother - and have to laugh just a little now after reading something my mother angrily wrote and left behind saying I had put on a beautiful brunch with many of her favorites, got her a gorgeous corsage and a box of her favorite candy but she didn't get a card and she was not at all happy about it! I guess since the kids got too big to make cards I just never really felt like store bought cards were very personal or important. I thought our time together was more important.

My mom was different, God rest her soul. She was always very secretive, always angry about something, and holding things inside. It must have been hard living like that.

For me - I spent the day in my jammies on the computer, playing video games with the boys, and watching a movie with hubby. My daughter brought me flowers as did my oldest son when he came home from church this morning. The little guy made hubby run out to pick up Mexican food for dinner from my favorite restaurant. I'm relaxing with a couple of cold ones now. It was a prefect day in my book!

Hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day celebration with your niece :)

Melanie said...

What a touching post. I'm still fortunate enough to have my mother, though I don't usually get to see her on Mother's Day because of the distance. I call and send a card, but I try not to think about a time when she won't be here. We just try to make the most of the time we do have together. Her own mom has been gone almost 30 years now, and she is still missed.
I hope you had a good Mother's Day with your niece. Enjoy your week. :)

Nel said...

Just now getting a chance to read this. What a beautiful post Betty! Thanks for sharing what is on your heart. Mother's Days are hard at times... so many memories. But Thank God for the memories.
My mom passed in 2007. My hubby and I got married in 2006. When my hubby asked her if he could marry me, she told him yes, and said I am so glad I do not have to worry about her anymore, I can go home. She was in the nursing home. I still miss her at times.
until next time... nel

The Brown Recluse said...

I am so incredibly blessed to have my mom still. I don't remember ever thinking to much about my mom or dad on their first Mother's Day without their moms, after they passed on. You've really made me think about some things, Betty.

This is a very touching and beautiful post.

Intense Guy said...

The feelings one has for their mom are deep and intense. I too, love my mom and "honor her" no matter what the day of the year is... she gets presents when I see something that "is her" or something I know she will like or make her smile.

The pain of not having that person cuts so deep into one's soul because that is where the bond orginates...

I too know the "burning feeling" of something not there... when I see a couple in love kiss in a public park. I don't begrudge their love... it only hurts because I don't have that... And I think that is something God wanted all (or most) of us to have.