Well, it’s time for Mother’s Day, and as you might imagine I’m not in the best mood about it. I’ve been depressed for a minute and couldn’t figure out why until my therapist suggested maybe it was the imminent maternal celebration bumming me out. It immediately made all the crying in the shower this week make sense.
This is year two without her and I gotta tell you, it doesn’t really feel any better. The pain has numbed for sure, but there’s not a day of my life I don’t feel the deep, looming sadness. There’s not a week that goes by without crying. Not a beat of my life that doesn’t result in frustration that she’s not here.
Bad days are made worse because I can’t call her. Happy moments are immediately faded because I can’t tell her about them. It’s having a broken light meter on your mental camera and every shot of your life is just a little bit off, no matter how hard you work.
I want to talk to her about the new projects I’m embarking on and to split a bottle of natural wine together. I want to listen to her wax on about Cy Twombly and hear her opinions on The Greatest Showman. I want to sit next to her during a movie while she cries the whole time. I want to listen to her giggle when she messes up the punchline of a joke.
I want her to read my sporadic blog posts and tell me I should be writing more. I want to watch my boyfriend make her laugh and when he turns away see her mouth “I LOVE him!” silently at me. I want to tell her about the FKA Twigs concert I just saw and send her music videos. I want her to make pasta using whatever’s in the cabinets and have it taste better than anything from Bestia. I want to hear Joni Mitchell wafting from her studio for the ten millionth time while she paints.
I’m aching for a hug. She was one of those people who’s hugs you really felt. She was warm and strong and did everything with complete conviction. Honestly at this point I’d even settle for having her get mad at me again.
I’ve been slipping lately. Making irresponsible decisions, backsliding into bad habits. I’ve been feeling a true lack of identity, of self. I can’t blame it all on her absence, but it certainly doesn’t help. I’ve lost my greatest cheerleader, my original support system, my first friend. I don’t have her view of me to reflect back to myself, and losing that mirror has me feeling set out to sea.
Some days are so foggy it’s like I’m trailing behind Clark Gable in the final scene of Gone With The Wind. I actually saw that on the big screen recently, and wept. It was the first time I’d watched since the night before she cut all her hair off due to the treatments. We cried and cried and cursed Ashley Wilkes and quoted all the lines along with the TV while I combed her long dark hair and played with it for the full 221 minutes. Now I’m crying again as I write this.
I want to get a card in the mail with her lipstick kiss on the back of the envelope and the state fully spelled out, never abbreviated. I want her to tell me she’s proud of me and that everybody messes up sometimes. I want her to see how much I’ve grown and how hard I’m working to continually forge a life I love. I want to talk to her when I’m a wreck. I want to talk to her when I’m joyful. I want to bitch about things with her. I just want to know how her day was.
I can’t remember my family having any tried and true Mother’s Day traditions. I know there were always flowers and champagne, because, well, there was always flower and champagne. I also don’t remember her last Mother’s Day. We knew the worst was coming because they told me in late April - one in a long series of “worst weekends of my life” that happened over those two years, but I don’t remember what we did. It’s depressingly ironic that without a mother I’m more aware of this holiday than I was when she was alive.
What I do know is that she wouldn’t want me bumming everybody out too much and that she’d want me to stop beating myself up all the time. I know that sometimes life is about quality not quantity and I’ll have her around me in some capacity forever. AND I know what I’ll be doing on Mother’s Day from now on, continuing with my tradition I started last year - getting some fresh air, making her spaghetti and meatballs, and toasting her with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.
Raising my glass to all of you out there as well - the mothers, those trying to become mothers, those choosing not to be mothers, and a particularly special hug from me to all of you who’ve lost your moms too.