Archive for May, 2017

the bittersweetness of mother’s day

May 13th, 2017

Not all people look forward to Mother’s Day. In spite of the Hallmark hype of the holiday, everything doesn’t always come up roses. For example, I had a mom who did her best with four sons and a marriage that wasn’t always a loving one. My mom had a big heart but didn’t always know how to show it to others. I don’t believe she intended to be self-absorbed and walled-off, but unfortunately, this was her way of being in the world–not just with me, but with all people in her life.

As a kid, I always tried my best to do something special for Mother’s Day, and I believe, on some level, it was appreciated. But as I grew older, I felt more resentful and less inclined to go out of my way to find the right gift or the card that accurately expressed how I felt toward my complicated mom.

Six years ago my mom died of lung cancer after having been a lifetime smoker. In the final months when she was on hospice, we found a way to connect just a little bit more to one another. I believe it was a mutual desire to get a little closer before it was time for her to take her final breaths.

Nowadays I hold the memory of my mother with bittersweetness–the occasional, intimate moments that were few and far-between, but I remain grateful for them. And more than anything, I know that my mom will always be a part of me–I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for her influence. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Tomorrow is really just another day of the year, but for those of you who have a complicated relationship with this particular day, keep in mind that it’s ok to have mixed feelings about it, and Monday is just around the corner.