I love Mother's Day. I have always loved Mother's Day. I loved celebrating the one person who went through so much to carry me. Omigod, did she ever.
My parents tried for years to get pregnant. Remember, this was the beginning of the 1960's. Not much was known about infertility at the time. All they knew was that pregnancy wasn't happening for them. Mom did everything she could - okay, she kept smoking - but she ate better, lost weight and most importantly, stopped drinking. Still, nothing. Year after year of trying, they sadly accepted the fact that biologically parenting a child was not going to happen and focused on adoption. All was set; their baby boy was on the way. Until the agency discovered my mother had severe hypertension. Bye-bye baby. Devastated, they decided to just live on with no more thoughts of ever becoming parents.
I wasn't having that.
I guess there is something to be said about not trying so hard for something you want more than anything in the world. My mom did everything to make sure the pregnancy would be a healthy one and yes - even quit smoking... or so I was told. I can't say for sure if she did or not. I do know that the pregnancy made her really weak and sick. I know from seeing photos of her right after I was born, she was not well, nor did she look well. I nearly killed her. Fact. She went through a lot for me, and I felt it was so nice to devote a day to the woman that carried me, who felt like shit nearly every day she did, and for months, afterward. That on some days she nearly lost her life because of me. For all that she did prior to getting pregnant with me. I thanked her for taking such good care of her body in preparing for me. She once told me that though she was overweight, the least she could do was to stop drinking and eating horribly. I loved that! She nurtured me even before I was a glint in their eyes. Awesome.
I then looked forward to the days when I could celebrate Mother's Day. I dreamed of sharing the day with my own mother. I got pregnant very easily unlike my mother. I decided that I would take better care of my body; eat better, stop smoking and stop drinking and try to make my body the healthiest it could possibly be - kind of like cleaning for company! I marked my first day of my cycle with a big "X", counted fourteen days ahead. Marked that day, the day prior and the day after. Those were the TTC (Try-To-Conceive) days. Just over two weeks later, "Wow, it really does work" Pregnant. The plans for my first Mother's Day with my mother began.
The celebration would never happen.
My mother died that October. I was due on Christmas Eve. It was very hard on me. VERY hard. The one thing in my life that I wanted my mom there for was to see her first grandchild. I didn't know (then) if I could deliver my baby without her. I did. It was a joyous day. When I saw my child for the very first time (hours later), the first thing I saw was my mother. Now, I could celebrate Mother's Day. I was a member of The Club. My first Mother's Day was a very bittersweet yet amazing day. Yet, in my heart of hearts, it was only reminding me that part of the day's reason for celebrating was now gone and an ache in me grew. Every Mother's day is a bittersweet one.
Don't get me wrong. I love Mother's Day. I am pampered and thought of with the kindest sons on the planet. I have been blessed with sweet, thoughtful and truly amazing sons and I am so very grateful for them. I miss my mom so very much. It's funny, in the past week, I have heard so many people complain about their mothers. This one is outstaying her welcome. That one is "all in my business." That one "won't take care of herself." It makes me so sad and then I get angry. I want to grab these people and shake them and remind them that soon they won't have to complain any longer because they'll be gone. "God, my mom is soooo annoying." What I would give to have my mom annoy me.
A friend of mine is also missing her mom and she nailed on the head when she wrote: It's not fair that the person I want to celebrate isn't here to celebrate. Amen.
Mother's Day, to this mother, means so much more than just getting cards and being taken out to dinner by my own children. It means truly thanking the woman that went through so much to have me. So much to care for me, and all the while making me laugh and giggle, singing and without even trying, teaching me to be a good mother. Yes, I am not only blessed with two of my own wonderful children, but I'm so very blessed to have had the best mom to learn from.
I love you, Ma. Thank you. Happy Mother's Day.