“Happy Mother’s Day,” he said, looked at me and gave me the receipt. He meant well, so do all the others, wishing me the same thing over and over since years. Now I just smile politely, a smile that doesn’t reach my eyes and everybody who knows me, would notice. The strangers in the stores they don’t know me, they don’t notice. How could they? It’s their job to be polite to customers. They mean no harm. The younger ones, who don’t have children, think about their own mothers. The older ones, who have children smile, think about their own kids. It’s natural…so it seems.
A good friend of mine doesn’t leave her house at Mother’s Day, she sits at home and waits it out. She is a mother, or has been a mother. Do you stop being a parent when your child dies? No, you don’t. A day like today hurts the ones, who suffered the loss of a child. She takes a trip back on memory lane each year, looks at old pictures and wishes the special day would just go away for good, wouldn’t remind her of her loss…and who can blame her.
I don’t have children, not by choice, but by nature’s will. Something that was hard to deal with, when I was younger. There were Mother’s Days when I got all teary eyed and told people to, “Shuffle it”. I am not a rude person -not at all- try to be kind and succeed 95% of the times – the other 5% must be hormones.
It’s hard to want something so badly. I watched all my friend around me expecting children and it just wasn’t in the cards for us. It hurt and we felt cheated. “Making Babies,” the easiest and most natural thing in the world, was the most complicated subject in our house for a while. It took a few years until reality finally sunk in and acceptance took over. There was a day when we gave up trying and enjoyed life again the way it was. We are happily married without children. Now we joke about it and have a sticker on the car stating, “Our kids have four paws“…not so far from the truth. Our dogs are spoiled rotten.
“Well, then think about your Mother,” was another advice I have been given a few times over the years. Really? My Mother was a violent, abusive alcoholic, who would have beaten me to little, tiny pieces if I wouldn’t have given the chance to live with my Grandmother. I saw my Mother 3 more times after the age of 6 and all three encounters weren’t pretty -especially the last one. I was an adult then, stomped her verbally on the ground, gave her a piece of my educated mind. It was the final Goodbye and I get off my chest, what I wanted to say. A big weight lifted off my shoulders then and it never came back, couldn’t bring me down any longer. Did she ever feel sad on Mother’s Day? Did she ever feel regret? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter anymore.
So, celebrating the woman who gave birth to me isn’t in the cards either.
“You could celebrate your Grandmother,” and so I did. I invented Grandmother’s Day in my mind, picked some flowers for her on the special day I made up. Never mentioned it to anybody, it was my own silent rebellion against Mother’s Day, a day that I never liked. I didn’t want to hurt my Grandmother’s feelings, knowing she had lost a son in World War II, so I never told her about her day.
Seems that every woman in my family had their own struggles with Mother’s Day and this weird tradition will die with me.
Mother’s Day’s now are fine with me. I guess I got used to the strange feeling, used to well wishes, that seem so oddly wrong and wasted on me.
One year my neighbor’s kid brought me a card on Mother’s Day and I gave her the look. She was a special needs child and I loved her dearly, tutored her whenever I could and felt a special connection. I open the card, prepared for the worst and had to smile. It said, “For a special friend….just because”. I thought it was very sweet, although showed a depth that I didn’t expect.
Over the years, I accepted the facts and made peace with “Mother Nature”…no hard feelings. I might still celebrate secretly deep down “Grandma’s Day” but really don’t talk about it.
Wishing you all just a great day!
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