I have always loved Mother’s Day. It is a time that has given me a chance to reflect on all the blessings I have been given by my relatives, my daughter and all of my family, but most importantly, it was a day to celebrate my own beloved mother.
This year, however, is bittersweet. Oh, I realize that it is bittersweet for a lot of women for a variety of reasons. There is the camp that wants a day to be recognized, and there is the camp that gets irritated by those women because they feel the only gifts/recognition should come from that woman’s children.
Me? I guess I always looked at it as a day to celebrate motherhood in general; a day to give a nod to those who soldier on while undertaking one of the most rewarding/difficult/jobs/privileges in the world. It would be like saying to atheists or Jews that they cannot wish Merry Christmas or give a token plate of holiday fudge to a Christian, because, well, you know…that would be “mixing”.
I also feel that these strong feelings and opinions follow that adage that opinions are like a certain part of everyone’s necessary but olfactorily unpleasant anatomy; we all have them, but that does not mean that we should stick our noses inside of anyone else’s. Let it be.
For any of you who have ever read most of my blogs or have met me, you probably already know how important my mother is, and always has been, to me. What you may not know is that during our school’s spring break this year, somehow my beloved mother left me. No, not in body, thank God, but the beautiful essence of her that wove what I always thought would be an unbreakable bond between us – broke. In the blink of an eye, she no longer knew me as her daughter.
Oh, things had been happening for quite some time; don’t get me wrong. Her confusion had been deepening, but I had always been able to ‘bring her back’, or so I thought. But on this one day, she never slipped back through that door of darkness back to me. She knows me as her caregiver; she thinks of me as having a twin. She kind of likes the twin, though! Me, not so much, but I get to hear good things about my twin, Pam! This makes me smile now, though I have had to shed many tears and go through quite a steep learning curve – that I do not think I will ever master – to get to this point of finding some humor in this situation.
Whatever has gripped her mind, this dementia or Alzheimer’s, or whatever it is, I think of it like the Black Thing in Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.(If you have never read it, you must.) This Black Thing, it is pure evil, and it wraps its toxic thickness around its victim, choking off his or her light source until there is nothing left but fragments of his or her shell.
I wrote out her card last night, tears dropping on its page, because I knew that she probably will not realize exactly who was giving it to her. I propped it with her little gift, again, fear mixed with hope that it would not scare of confuse her, but that it would make her happy in some way, if it can, even though she may not know it is her daughter (the evil twin, not the good Pam!) who gave it to her.
She asked me yesterday as I was getting her ready for our annual pre-Mother’s Day who I was. Those are the moments that steal my breath. I literally cannot breathe. But when I told her, “I am Pam, your daughter”, she looked up and repeated, “You are my daughter?” Then, more definitively, “You are my daughter.” These are the moments I live for now. This is my Mother’s Day present.
For everyone out there who Mother’s Day touches in some way, I say to you “Happy Mother’s Day”. I beg you to not let one minute go in disappointment or anger, either at the lack of thought or token on someone else’s part or anger and resentment at those who long for someone to recognize them in some way on this day. Those are moments wasted. I would say to you to please just treasure the memories you may have – I always have, whether they be good or bad, because believe me, I have a treasure trove of both., but we do not always have that guarantee, now, do we? Just ask my mother, if you could, as she has lost so many of the beautiful memories that she loved so very much. So just breathe, take life one moment at a time, and embrace the bad along with the good because the whole mixed bag is what will make you the wonderful person you are, if you let it happen with grace.
Have a wonderful day!
Side Note: Remember when I said, “That is my gift”; like that is all I need in life? That is really a load of bull. What I would like on TOP of that and what I would gladly trade my new little female cat that I rescued for my mother to have as a companion while I am away at work, and who she thinks is a male dog and named “Clark”…is one night of uninterrupted sleep! And that is the truth!!