This year, as Mother’s Day approached, the hovering weight above my chest fell. Part of me feels like this is a regression, a depression that has reemerged after I worked so hard to build myself back up after Mom died. This year, I looked in the mirror one morning and it struck me: my mother is dead. I can never be a mother. This day will never mean anything at all to me; a bitterness and a deep hurt has surrounded me since. You can only pretend to be okay with everything for so long.
My memories blur and then grow agonizingly clear. I made myself “forget” two years ago. It seemed easier then, when the hurt was so recent, so real, and I wasn’t sure if I could survive without her. I suppose it is time to actually deal with this emptiness. This all comes at a moment when my brother has fallen to depression, sending a late night text message wondering if I still had the slide show we played during her visitation, and my father has signed up for a fresh round with grief counseling.
This year, instead of being a party pooper, I elected to stay home from all Mother’s Day festivities. My brother did the same…we are in the same boat of past and future reasons to celebrate—he tells me he never wants to be in any relationship at all because it hurts too much when people die. At the risk of sounding immature and whiny, this isn’t fair.
Normally I have my wits about me, my rhetoric down. “There’s a bigger plan; we’re too small to see.” I’ll recite something she once relayed to me…”The word ‘deserve’ should not have been invented. Who are we to decide?” But right now, it all all just seems so unfair.
Thursday afternoon, I decided that I needed to run away, even if only for a day. Nick helped me plan a quick trip to Chicago, and we spent yesterday exploring the city and catching Wicked at the Ford theatre.
Today, reality returns. I think Nick was quite surprised when, on the trip home, he asked if I wanted to stop and visit her grave today. I clamped my lips and shook my head; gigantic alligator tears leaked from beneath my sunglasses.
Last year, I decided that I have come to save up all of my mourning for Mother’s Day and her birthday, the two days that have always been about her. This year, I am not quite sure that just two days will be enough. I have been able to talk about her fondly, in humor and warmth…trying to relay just how awesome of a person she was. Lately, I have been unable to say anything. I am overcome with images. I see her pregnant, rubbing her belly and talking to me like she told me she did. I remember us cuddled in bed together, talking and giggling. I feel her hugging me.
And then I feel it all go away.