It’s official – this is my least favorite day of the year. It’s been a contender for a number of years now, but this one, with Mom gone almost six months now, has officially taken the title. I hate Mother’s Day.
I don’t hate Mothers, let’s be clear, and I think they are some of the hardest working people I know. And certainly, my friends who are mothers are amazing, beautiful, powerful women who are raising smart, loving, creative kids. So hats off to all of them.
But I still hate Mother’s Day. As Anne Lamott says:
I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge â€” not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER.
Every year, I sit in church and watch almost every and sometimes EVERY OTHER WOMAN in that congregation get a flower. I sit and try to look happy, but I’m not. I feel isolated and sad – as if being a woman who wants children but doesn’t have them isn’t enough pain to wear each day.
And today, I can’t even celebrate my own mom, as I did last year, because I’m just bowled over by the fact that she’s not here. In so many ways, for this moment on this day, I feel absolutely cut off from being a woman . . . from my history because Mom is not here and from the future because I have no children to carry some part of me forward. More than ever, today, I could use Mom’s sarcastic wit and her soft hand on my arm for a moment to remind me it’s all going to be okay.
So today, I am not going to church; Dad and I will go to Mom’s grave and lay out flowers – rosemary and purple straw flowers . . . and I will grieve.