I wasn’t prepared for Mother’s Day – or at least the pervasiveness of Mother’s Day.
Yes, I was fully aware I would be without my mom on Mother’s Day for the first time in my 53 years, but I wasn’t prepared for the constant reminders of that sad fact.
In advance of the holiday, the websites I frequent posted their traditional fare – lists of perfect Mother’s Day gifts and heart-warming stories about moms. In the years before my mother died, I never paid particular attention to those lists and stories. But this year, just seeing the headlines reminded me of my loss. So did the sportscasters who told me constantly that last Sunday was Mother’s Day. Ditto for the TV ads, including the one where the boy dumps a couple of crumpled bills and some change in front of the jewelry store clerk while his father stands behind him, credit card in hand.
All of these things reminded me of something I had not allowed to cross my mind – that for the first time in my life, I would not be able to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day.
Truth be told, I could have been a better son. I did not visit nearly often enough, though the drive was under three hours. I could have talked to her more than I did; I was pretty good about calling on her birthday and Mother’s Day and the occasional holiday but not much more often than that.
I suppose mothers forgive their children all things, and I like to think my mom forgave me. And I know she knew that I loved her; I told her so at the end of every phone call.
But none of that made Mother’s Day easier. I can’t and don’t blame the websites, sports broadcasts and TV ads that made much ado about Mother’s Day. But honestly, I felt like I was getting buffeted from all sides. On Sunday morning, I went to the office to escape the barrage of reminders that I had lost my mom.
Oddly enough, while I don’t spend a lot of time on social media, I found a great deal of comfort there on Mother’s Day. Friends from near and far, past and present, school and work, paid tribute to their moms, living and dead. And I realized that I wasn’t alone; that others had lost their moms too.
More important, none of my friends seemed rattled by the holiday. To the contrary, they appeared to embrace it. And then it occurred to me that I was focusing too much on my loss and not enough on all my mother had given me.
So I want to thank my Facebook friends for showing me the right way to approach the holiday. And to my mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I miss you.