Friday, May 12, 2017

this mother's day

My mom was not big on Mother's Day. In our family, it was considered a commercially manufactured holiday created solely to play on the guilt and obligation of children (and sometimes their partners too) in order to generate sales of cards, flowers, chocolates, and brunches at restaurants. My mom let it be known she did not like to be the recipient of this kind of attention on Mother's Day, but any other day of the year was just fine. I was not really comfortable with letting the day go totally unremarked upon. After all, I am an American citizen and to completely ignore a finely tuned machine of consumer manipulation is downright unpatriotic. I would always call my mom on Mother's Day to wish her a happy day, and now I am wondering if she really did think Mother's Day was bullshit.

I have been going to a grief support group for daughters who have lost their mothers, and everyone in the group is a daughter who loved their mother (not always the case, as we all know) and one of the ongoing themes is regret. There is not one of us in the group who does not have some level of regret that we didn't spend more time with our mothers, do more for them, show them how much we loved them, tell them how much we loved them. My mom knew that I loved her, and more importantly to her, that I liked her also. We always had a good time together. There was never any holding back when it came to expressing love. My family is very fortunate in that way.

I would give anything to have just one more minute with my mom, to hug her, to tell her I loved her, to look into her eyes, to laugh at her jokes. And I just think that the biggest problem with being a person is that there is never enough time to be with the people you love. No matter how much I gave my mom and received from her, I'm always going to want more of her love and companionship. But everything is limited. Life is limited and what we can do while we are in it is limited. Feeling that regret is part of the process of grief, it's a reckoning with our limitations, and I can just barely stand it.