Friday, May 9, 2014

Pain of Mother's Day

Mother's Day is not on my list of top 10 favorite holidays. Matter of fact, I detest it! Now don't get me wrong. I don't hate mothers ... 'cause I have one (although she is 94 and usually thinks I am her sister) and I am one, three times over. None of us escaped having a mother; many of us are mothers or hope to be someday. But the sad truth is that many have lost mothers, and many mothers have lost children, and many women are trying unsuccessfully to become mothers ... and Mother's Day is huge reminder to us of all that pain and emptiness.

I don't understand why there should be one designated day when everyone is told to honor and adore your mother. Why not give her special attention every day? Why not visit or call her, show your appreciation, tell her how much she means to you, shower her with love and affection without being prompted by retailers and florists? Mother's Day is the 4th biggest retail holiday in this country. I prefer to buy gifts for people, including my mom, when I see something that makes me think of them and not when I am told I must. Perhaps that is just the rebel in me.

If your mom is no longer living, I am sure it is difficult to celebrate this day. It is a huge reminder that she is no longer a living part of your life. Your visit to the cemetery isn't the same as giving her a hug or hearing her voice or seeing the delight in her eyes at the sight of you. Mother's Day reminds you of the unconditional love that is missing from your life. And if you are a mother missing your mother, the day must be painfully complex.

Many have moms who are living with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, like mine, who no longer recognize their children. It is bittersweet. She is still alive but no longer the same mom you have known all your life. Mother's Day is difficult when your mother doesn't remember your name or recall that you are her child.

If you are a woman unable to have children, Mother's Day must be hurtful. You want so badly to have the title Mother. You dream of little arms wrapped around your neck and hearing a little voice call you Mommy. What's to celebrate for you with your breaking heart? It's just a reminder of what you yearn for but are being denied.

If you have lost one of your babies (however old, they are always your babies), then I do understand the pain you will be feeling. You feel it every single minute of every day, but on Mother's Day the pain is sharper and your loss is more intense. I lost my daughter Jaime to melanoma when she was 29. I was her mother; I was supposed to protect her ... and I failed. It may sound silly that I think I should have been able to keep the cancer from destroying her little body and taking her life, but I was her mom and keeping her from harm was my job. I failed ... and Mother's Day is a reminder of that.

If you still have other living children, the day is a major predicament. You have trouble celebrating the day because your heart is torn. A valuable piece of making that day special is missing ... one of your children. But your other children have a mother and want to celebrate with her ... because, after all, all the commercials on TV remind them that that is what they are supposed to do. So for your surviving children, you put on your happy mask and somehow get through the day even though you are crying silently on the inside. 

So although the retailers look forward to Mother's Day, I will just be glad when it is over. And I know I am not alone in those feelings.  It makes me so sad that this day causes so much pain to so many ... but please know that I am thinking of each of you this Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. Wholeheartedly agree. Lost my mom over 6 years ago unexpectedly. Detest Mothers Day.