I wanted to write something meaningful on Mother’s Day.
But I couldn’t.
There are perpetually-unresolved issues with my own mother. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to handle them. It’s difficult when the way you are left to love someone is not the way you wish it would be. It’s a possibly bitter resignation to settle for what is and give up the dream for what you thought you always hoped for.
I often miss my Nana and Aunt Bea, especially, I think on Mother’s Day. My Nana was the best example of a mother and mother-in-law and grandmother there ever was. I can only hope to be half the woman she was — and I’ll be doing pretty good at that. Aunt Bea, though not a biological mother, was a mother and a grandmother in many senses of the word, to so many of us. She supported me emotionally, spiritually and psychologically through my college years, through a relationship that wasn’t all that good for me and into my married life. She was the great-grandmother my kids wouldn’t have known any other way.
This year, I have the bitter, unresolved feelings and I have the nostalgic and longing feelings. But, I also have joyful feelings as I was surrounded by my children and their lovely hand-made gifts. This was Dominic’s first year to make me something at school and he was so proud of it. Helen gave me a couple of things they made at school, too, along with her hand-made card that said “Mommy, you’re the best Mommy in the whole world.” and it is just like a dozen cards she makes me on a whim every week. Dani had a nice acrostic (thank you #cathsorority friends who helped me with that word!) describing me with each letter of MOTHER. Therefore, I had a bunch of new things to put up at work. 🙂
Also, this year, I grieve that special piece of me that is no longer here, but has gone on to Heaven, my Gregory. A few times I rubbed across my stomach remembering that there’s nothing growing in there anymore. My stomach has finally begun to flatten out a bit (losing weight helps, but I think the muscles are contracting back finally realizing there’s nothing in there anymore). I had a fleeting thought while at work today that I’d be about 10 weeks away from my due date this week and probably be waddling or something if I were still pregnant. So, Mother’s Day was sad for me this year in ways it never had been before.
Something I’ve noticed after experiencing this loss is that I never could comprehend what this felt like before I went through it. Now, when I hear of a loss, there’s an actual pain in my own heart for the other person experiencing this pain. It makes me feel bad sometimes because my own sister suffered a couple of losses, but I had absolutely no idea the pain she was going through. Now that I’ve suffered my own, I appreciate so much the things she has to say about it if the subject comes up.
I now understand how a person could have a lapse in faith during a time like this. I am so afraid of that happening. I wonder if I go overboard trying to maintain my faith in any way I can…reflect on the Eucharist, pray the Rosary, read the Bible…anything that will help me feel close to God. Sometimes, though, I think I am really trying to feel close to Gregory.
I guess I’m glad this year’s Mother’s Day is over. And maybe writing this, I can let go of some of the feelings I have. I wrote a comment on Rebecca’s blog describing the day as “Just one strange, weird, wonderful, awful day.”
I think that pretty much sums it up.