Happy Mother’s Day… Two Weeks Late. Whatever.

Me & Mom
Me & Mom

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It’ll be two weeks this Sunday. I think. OK, so I’m totally late to the game here. I wanted to write about it; but for me, the day was just another day. Sort of. It was my first Mother’s Day. It was my Mother’s 37th Mother’s Day. She was probably aware of maybe 30 Mother’s Days, give or take …………………………………………… who knows. It’s hard to say. Still, for a long time, Mother’s Day hasn’t meant that much to me.

(if your mother had no idea what day it is, you too might find it really hard to go all out on her behalf; I mean, at that point, it’s more about you, not about her. It feels cheap, even forced. At least that’s how it felt to me.)

After my mom started forgetting things like Mother’s Day, I stopped paying attention to the day. Besides being hurtful, the day is over the top and absurd. I mean, let’s be honest here, if you are so inclined to thank your mother because it’s Mother’s Day, you’re a) thanking your mother for doing her job. b) it’s a little self-congratulatory; moms you signed up for this; and c) maybe you should start thanking your mother on a daily basis.

By the way, C is free advice.

That said, I suppose this Mother’s Day was different. I’m now someone’s mother. I received my first Mother’s Day cards. People reached out to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Still, it was all very foreign to me. And yet, despite the lovely sentiments, I managed to remain mostly indifferent about it. OK, I managed to ignore (or rather, avoid) the day (and what it means) to the best of my abilities. I didn’t want to feel anything. Because maybe if I actually felt something, if I let the day mean something to me, it would have been a betrayal……………………………………… to my own mother.

I think next year will be different. Two weeks ago, it was just too much to process. Too much to take in. Just another reminder of the past; the horrible, horrifying past.

You see, when I sit down and think about the last ten years and process the loss, the sadness, the disappointments, the grief, the frustrations, the letdowns …………………………………………… to inhale that kind of pain…………………………… I think few people get it. Watching your mother endure this kind of agony, watching your mother pound on glass inside a looney bin………… witnessing horror after horror………………………………… this endless agony, it does something to you; it alters your DNA.

 

6 Comments

  1. My 33rd Mother’s Day. Her 65th. Similar – not the same. I at least had the privilege of answering the same questions time and time and time again. A drive-thru lunch followed by a store bought Mother’s Day cake and ice cream. And wondering – just wondering – if my daughter will spend her 33rd Mother’s Day with me answering question after question and watching me lick up every bit of icing I can. You, Kathy Ritchie, are well-bred…as your daughter will be. As long as there are mothers and daughters – there will be loving caretakers. Your Mom can’t say “thank you” but I can…thanks for sharing your journey – even as painful as it has been. It’s helped me in my journey MORE than you will ever know.

  2. Reading your blog is like reading a chapter in my own journal…if I were to write in a journal. I empathize with your experiences, as my mother, for the past 7 years (approximately) has suffered from frontotemporal dementia and was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I am 32 years old and helping care for her. Mother’s Day was difficult for me this year, which was surprising because in years past it has not been so challenging. Perhaps because my mother’s health has declined significantly this year. I want to thank you for your bravery, honesty, and the sense of humor that you maintain in your writings.

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