Mother, I’m a Mother
My mother passed away from cancer when I was seventeen years old. It was nearly Thanksgiving. She had been ill– but it was unexpected. As unexpected as death with cancer can be. We had thought she’d be with us through the holidays. And she passed away quietly, suddenly, at home one night. A night that I will never forget, because I found her, and because those things sort of get burned into your brain. I wrote a big old play about it back when I was a writer and a performer and a poet and all kinds of other things that have slid by the wayside as I’ve gotten older, and moved on from college. But I digress.
Mothers Day has been painful for me for the past twelve years since she died. On a daily basis of course, life is life. Even around the holidays, I have sort of fully adjusted. Especially now that I am married, we have our own traditions, our own things to look forward to– but there’s just no getting around Mother’s Day. I feel envious when I see families brunching together in the restaurants around town. I feel as if I am missing out on something so lovely. To be able to pick up a bouquet of flowers, and bring my mother to a nice restaurant, and tell her how much I love her. If she were still alive I would be so much of a better daughter than I was as a selfish teenager who was trying to be a grown up and a kid all at the same time. I would spoil her now. I would call her and ask her opinions about things. She would be able to love on Redmond. She could babysit him while my husband and I went on a date. She would laugh with him, kiss him, be able to fall as deeply in love with her grandson as Nick and I have with our son. I would be a good daughter.
In reality, who knows what our relationship would be like. But I want to believe we would be close. I believe she would be proud of me, that she would think that I am a good mama. A mother. I am a mother. Just like she was mine. We are suddenly, strangely equal. She was only ever a mother. A mother of still young children when she died. Now that I have a child, I cannot even fathom the heartbreak she must have experienced when she knew that she was going to die, and we would go on living, and she would not be there to see it. It makes my heart feel like splitting.
This year, my first real Mothers Day, I am excited. I was actually moseying around Instagram a few weeks ago and saw someone had posted a Mothers Day gift guide. My initial feeling was, oh no its coming again. And then I remembered, this year I get to celebrate. Because I have crossed that threshold into motherhood. It still catches me off guard sometimes. It’s something we all thing about for so long. And then the pregnancy seems to stretch for so long. And then, very suddenly, you have this tiny human that is utterly dependent on your. Who is fully yours. Redmond is mine. Ours. And I love being a mother. So. To my own mom– I love you. I miss you. And I will hold you in my heart extra close on Sunday.
There is no joy greater than this. Not to me.
Happy Mothers Day to all you mama’s out there.