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Philosophical Monday: Not So Happy Mother’s Day

So I hate Mothers Day, have done so since my mother died in 1996, and I realized that what used to be a cute little holiday, was acutally a 2-4 week reminder that I no longer had a living mother. It’s not a time when I’m at my best. I have little to no tolerance for friends who complain about their mothers, and the only reason I don’t say, “Well, at least you still have a mother,” is because it would be cliche and I dislike cliche more than I dislike people who complain about their mothers around Mother’s Day. Still, I become insanely jealous that so many people seem to have still-living mothers, and I wonder why I got put on the list of people who don’t. Brothers & Sisters is one of my favorite shows, but right around Mothers Day, I want to slap each and everyone of the privileged Walker siblings every time they say yet another mean word to their mother, Nora (as played by the wonderful Sally Fields).

It’s gotten better over the years, what used to be a general month-long funk decreased to a week, then after I got my radio writing job down to a mere weekend, because I was way too busy to dwell on being a motherless child.

Last year was the best actually, b/c CH’s birthday was on Mother’s Day, so I got to concentrate on the happy celebration of his birth as opposed to what had become for me the most depressing holiday of the year.

Now this is usually the part of the blogumn where I stop complaining and say something positive, life-affirming, or aspirational. And actually my Mothers Day weekend was working out that way.

On Thursday, I watched the first half of Martha Stewart with my MIL, musing over the fact that guest star, Jim Parson’s (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) helmet-haired Texan mother, looked and talked exactly how you’d expect his BBT’s character’s mother to look and act, if television weren’t so insistent on casting thin, glamourous in the roles of mothers. On Friday, we turned on the TV to show my GIL the Mothers Day episode of Ellen, which an unborn Betty and I had been on last year, and we completely freaked when we saw that Betty’s picture had been included in the pics of the babies of last year’s audience members.  When I went to bed on Saturday after a lovely day spent with CH’s family, I had my blogumn all planned out. This would be my first official year as a mom myself. I was sure that would erase the sad taint of the holiday.

Not so much.

I woke up on Sunday morning with the same crushing depression that I’ve woken up with every year. It took me forever to get up and start getting ready, and when I finally did I was rushed with hypotheticals like, “What do you think Mom would have been like now at the age of 62? What would her hair have looked like?” Then things started getting darker. “Too bad she never got to meet CH. Too bad she never got to meet her granddaughter. Too bad, she never got to see all the work she put into me payoff.” Then it got even darker. A thorough examination of my mother’s life: the changes I wish she had made while still alive, the regrets I still have for her, the questions that will forever go unanswered, the anger that she died without any warning whatsoever.

The next thing I knew, I was on the edge of tears. Even though my mother has been dead for almost fourteen years. Even though I’m a mother myself now.

I’m still rather surprised that the depression returned this year, but then again, these things take time. Grief, as it turns out, is not something that you just get over. It’s a lifelong process. I hugged and kissed my daughter even more yesterday, and comforted myself with the fact that it was better than Mothers Days of the past. And next year it will be even better. And then it will keep on getting better, until one Mothers Day I’ll wake up and the grief will only be a fleeting thought in a day filled with happiness and light. Until then, as a fortune cookie once told me, “There is little that can’t be healed with patience and time.”