Mother's Day is difficult for me.
When I was in third grade I entered my Mama in a Mother's Day contest. I wrote an essay about why my mama was the best one in the world and she won a bouquet of flowers. There's a polaroid picture of us standing side by side, smiling proudly, she's holding that bouquet in her left hand and I'm wearing a flowered skirt, a red blouse, and my hair is in braids... somewhere. I can only hope that I'll see that picture again one day.
During the last few years of her life, I became increasingly angry with her. I started to think that she didn't love me as much as she once did... missing Hunter's ultrasound, forgetting super important memories from my childhood, not wanting to visit as often. I now know that her personality and behavior was all changing... because she had seven tumors on her brain. But at the time, all I could imagine was that the person to whom I'd been joined at the hip as a child and with whom I'd been joined at the heart as an adult was abandoning me. It didn't make sense but it's what I felt.
If I can get past all of those angry feelings from the last few years of her life, I can honestly say that I really worshiped my mama. She was my absolute best friend in the entire universe. Until a certain time in my life, I told her everything. And when I stopped telling her everything, it was only to protect her, never because I didn't trust her. She loved me unconditionally and completely. She devoted her whole life to taking care of me, coloring with me, playing play doh with me, shopping with me. She was kind. She was loving. She was nonjudgmental. If she didn't like you, you can be guaranteed that you must have done something to hurt her baby (she had a list and I specifically remember two boys in particular who made the list and probably never came off of it). She was my home.
Now, my mom is gone. My past is gone. All I have is my present and my future. I often times look around and wonder how I ended up here... in a house with the man who was a bird legged boy who I chased endlessly only a few short years ago, a four year old boy with a heart of gold, and a two year old girl with a smart and sassy mouth and the agility needed to climb anything. The past two years I've spent distracting myself and now that I've awakened to my present circumstances... well... I simply cannot believe my eyes. I like who I've become. I really do. I am even happy with my body, my hair, my face, my skin, my clothes... things about which most women seem miserable. I'm happy with my self-made career, the opportunities that seem to arise out of nowhere, and the talents I've discovered. I'm happy with my life in general. But about once a week, sometimes more often, I suddenly feel like my chest is going to implode and like I'm being pushed to the ground my an unseen force. I have to leave the room and have a break down. I have to just feel the pain. And it totally sucks.
Today my dad turns 60. He was born on Mother's Day. I never imagined that he'd even reach this age. I'm sad that he's not part of my life. I wonder if he misses her at all. I wonder if he lets himself feel the pain. I wonder if he is ever just going about his day and suddenly has to sink to the floor because of that unseen force I call grief.