Saturday, May 09, 2009
Well another Mother's Day is coming tomorrow and I can't say that I am overjoyed. Don't get me wrong. I love mothers and all that they do to make the world a better place. I am happy to acknowledge the great worth of mothers, I guess for me personally, Mother's Day is a rather painful day.
My own mother passed away when I was 27, and Mother's Day always reminds me that she is no longer here and how sad were the days before her passing. I have really missed having a mother these past 24 years. So many wonderful things have happened to me since then that I wish she could have been a part of. When I think of her life, I am also saddened. She had much to be grateful for, but she was not a happy woman for much of her life, and I am sad that she was not able to overcome the pain and bitterness that defined her later years. Her death from cancer was a very painful thing to watch, and I am not sure I have ever really dealt with that experience.
I suppose I could think about my grandmothers on Mother's Day, but I never really knew either of them very well. My mother's mother was in England and I only saw her twice in my life, once when I was 2 1/2 and again when I was 12. The second time I saw here, she had dementia and didn't really know who I was. She hardly spoke. My dad's mother lived closer, but was quite a gruff woman who had been scarred by a tough life as a pioneer, homesteading in southern Saskatchewan in her youth, living through the Depression, losing three young adult sons to tragic deaths, and being married to an alcoholic husband. While I knew her better than my other grandma, I had no real personal relationship with her and didn't feel a lot of warmth and love.
Of course, I am a mother myself, so one would suppose that perhaps this would be a reason to love Mother's Day. I have five amazing children, two of whom are married to wonderful spouses. I became a mother at a very young age (20) and I suppose that is all that I ever wanted to be. Being a mother was not easy, but I determined that I was going to put my whole soul into it. Like most mothers, however, I never felt that I was a good enough mother, and always hated the attention given on Mother's Day, like I was being put on some kind of pedestal or something. The reward of being a mother was enough for me. I certainly didn't need the guilt incurred by trying to live up to some impossible ideal. As difficult as it was, the years I spent raising children were wonderful.
Which brings me to today. All of my children have left home and are living their own lives now. I live in a big house, once full of life and noise and chaos, now full of empty rooms, that are occupied sporadically only a few days a year. Mother's Day for me now is just a reminder of what once was, and can never be again. The last thing I want to think about is that.
I guess the only way for me to get through another Mother's Day is to look past all the pain and sorrow and appreciate the good things that mothers do. To be grateful for all the mothers who sacrifice their lives and dreams every day to selflessly raise a new generation. To honor those women, who may or may not have children of their own, who 'mother' those who need it most. Hats off to all of you! Happy Mother's Day!