Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers and Mothers Day

This is the third Mother's Day that I've spent without my mother. The first one was terrible; I had waves of sobbing all day. Last year, I was so very sad that I just wanted to sleep until it was Monday, so that's what I tried to do. I stretched out on the couch and napped all afternoon. I had a dream that my Mother was making me my favorite cake - the one that has been my birthday cake since I was about 5 or 6, a blueberry molasses cake - and the aroma was so strong that it woke me up. DD was actually baking the cake! From scratch! Somehow, her kindness and sensitivity had taken the sting of the day, and a new tradition was born.

All this week, I've been praying very hard for my mother. I've been thinking of her so much, and I admit it, I've been crying. Do you ever get over your mother's death? Do you ever get over the loss? The forever of it? The separation? After three years, the pain still cuts like a knife and sometimes I actually double over with the sharpness and suddeness of it, but there are longer periods in between these episodes now. Sometimes I even go a week without that stabbing sorrow of missing her.

Mother's Day is a Hallmark day. Its been invented for purely commercial reasons, and we happily go with the flow. Even so, the idea is a good one - to set aside a day to remember our mothers and grandmothers and aunties and cousins and friends, and every female who has nurtured us. We tend to take people for granted, and think that they'll always be there, always be available, always forgive us our pettiness, but the fact of the matter is that they won't. So, setting aside a day to tell the women in our lives what they mean to us is a good thing, even if they can hear only the yearning of our hearts and not our words in this broken world.

So, to my most beloved mother, who I love and respect and miss so terribly, accept my mute groanings from the bottom of my heart as a tribute to the patience and love that you bestowed on me. If I can become half the woman that you were, I will have done you proud. To my dearest Grammie, the matriarch, and to my dear Memere, how I miss you both! How I wish I could hug you one last time and make you laugh, and eat your food so lovingly prepared. To my dearest aunties, Auntie Anna and my godmother, Auntie Nettie, how your love and pride in me shaped me. How I miss you and your warm embrace!

To all the women in my life who have taught me, and loved me, and supported me, and have told me what I needed to hear whether I wanted to hear it or not (yes, that means you, Ethel and Roseanne), thank you.

But mostly, to my mother. You ornery, fiesty, mystical, opinionated, talented, hardworking, loving, pushy, infuriating, magnificent old broad. How I miss you! There are no words. No words at all.

Just the groanings of my heart.