Mother’s Day, What it means to me

Mother’s day was a day that I loved when I was a school child. I would get so excited about making the cards for my mother and my grandmother.  To me, they were just the same. I lived with my grandmother my earliest years and in my mind, she was the stable loving mother that everyone needs and wants. I also had my mother, in some ways she was like a sister. Not always there, not always responsible, yet loving in her own way.

Mother’s day meant we would have a family dinner with the cousins after church. I loved when the cousins came to my grandmother’s house. It was lively and noisy and we got to spend the day together, which was a rarity. It was wonderful.

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We also got to sit around the children’s table in the kitchen and goof off instead of eating. We were basically unsupervised (in our own minds) and could be as silly as we wanted. It was always a glorious day.

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When I became a mother, I was thrilled to be bringing my children to my grandmother’s house and show them the wondrous family tradition. However, Mother’s day meant something totally different for my husband. It was a time for his family to go to the country and lay flowers on his relatives graves. His mother’s church held their Decoration day on Mother’s day. I was not exactly thrilled with my plans being disrupted by his family tradition, but I went along.

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Sadly I only had a few mother’s day celebrations with my grandparents, after I had my children. They both passed away one month apart when my children were 2 & 3. Too many missed Mother’s Day celebrations for them to remember the ones we were allowed to share together.

My mother had moved away to Arizona by then and I was left alone and sad on Mother’s Day. I never enjoyed the day after my grandmother passed. I put on a happy face for my children, I was touched with their crafts from school, but I wanted my family back. I wanted the security my grandmother represented. It became a sadness that I was not able to shake. I did not know at the time that I suffered from debilitating depression. I simply thought I was grieving for the love that I no longer felt in my life. Going to the cemetery in the country with people that did not care that much for me, seemed an apt way to spend Mother’s day. Celebrating the mothers of others, never quite realizing I should have been celebrated as well.

 

Sometimes logic is not a huge part of my makeup. sometimes I get swallowed whole by the concepts of love and family. I have spent my life trying to make sure my children had a stable mother and loving memories.  But when Mother’s Day is creeping closer, I feel the sadness return. It has been a long time since the passing of my grandmother and my mother, but still, I feel the shadow of a day so many others celebrate. I find that I only care that my daughters have a lovely Mother’s day. For me, it is always a sad day. But I do not dare tell my children. I would not have them know this for the world. They are such lovely unbroken mothers.  They are amazing moms. They look forward to the holiday that I dread.

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For them, I will wake up celebrate the day and once again never let on that my heart is not quite involved, knowing that instead of carrying on a wonderful tradition, I slipped into a selfish fog that denied my grandchildren warm memories.  Guilt then breeds depression, another year wasted.