Yesterday was Mother’s Day. What I am discovering about holidays, is that, as a widow, they generally suck. Holidays are usually very “typical” family centric, mine is broken, and that fact is just made more clear. The Winter holidays passed in the blur of shock and resultant adrenaline. Easter was hard, Mother’s Day, too. Holidays bring back memories. While I might not remember what I was doing on May 8th last year, I do remember many Mother’s Days.
When the kids were little, Jim used to try to make a big deal out of Mother’s Day. But, I really don’t like breakfast in bed, usually in May the Lochsa is running, and I did not like to chain him home on a perfect rafting weekend. I finally told Jim I was not his mother, he should really think about calling his own, and I left Mother’s Day up to my now older kids. I dislike Hallmark Holidays. I know that Mother’s Day has historical significance, but it has turned into something else. I feel like every day is Mother’s Day. I have the best 2 kids in the universe. I know, everyday, how much they love me. I don’t need a holiday for that.
I don’t have “typical” family. It is broken. But, lucky me, I now have 4 mothers whom I love and whom I am eternally grateful for. I hope they know, everyday, how much I love them.
My birth mom, Sue: She fed, raised, and provided for me and my siblings, even after my parents divorced while I was in high school. Sue is responsible for my core values and beliefs. Because of her, I love dogs, and quiet walks in the woods. She lives a block away and is a frequent visitor in my kitchen. It would not matter if she lived 3000 miles away, because she will forever be the voice in my head.
My dad’s second wife, Joyce: Joyce taught me the importance of fun in a relationship, and that, perhaps, dancing did indeed make the world go around. She also taught me to cherish the “family in-gathering” at the end of the day, and how central the kitchen table is to health and happiness.
My dad’s third wife, Judi: Judi brought love back into my dad’s life after Joyce died. She taught me that love is possible later in life, and that no matter what your age, a newlywed is a newlywed. Pursue your passions, and love finds you in the strangest places.
Jim’s mom, Shirley: Shirley is a treasure. Without her, there would have been no Jim. Jim often complained that she loved me more than him…but I think it was just a ploy because he wasn’t crazy about talking on the phone. Shirley is living proof that a heart that loves is infinite in size.
One of the things I adore about my son, is that he does not make a big deal about holidays, so Mother’s Day passed with little fanfare. Emerald is in the middle of finals, so there was no question about her coming home. She did take a break from Math to put in a garden…and called me for advice. How cool is that? Jasper and I were going to walk downtown for dinner, but neither one of us was really in the mood. We stayed in our jammies all day, and had leftover soup and prom dessert for dinner. Sunday night tradition of the Simpsons, and we called it a day.
I try to be a good mom. I got really lucky on the gene pool that produced my children. We are all aware of how short life can be. We are not stingy on the “I love you”s. The one thing I will never be able to do for my kids is replace their dad. I can ponder the idea of a second husband, another intimate love. They lost their dad. There are no seconds. I cannot fix this. It makes me sad. Holidays suck.