Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Want for Mother's Day: a Day Off

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me.  I absolutely adore having a day that celebrates what a kick-@ss job I’m doing at keeping my children out of juvenile detention homes mothering.  My birthday is not until September; that’s a LONG wait for another day that’s all about me.  I know there are mothers out there who will scoff at me when I say I would like a kid-free day on Mother’s Day.  I know, I know; scoff away.  A GOOD mother would want to spend her day with her offspring.  Well, I spend the 364 other days of the year with them . . . on Mother’s Day, Mama wants a nap.

Since I lost my own mother, however, Mother’s Day brings a little sadness too.  It’s much better now than it was when she first passed.  I wanted to kick Jane Seymour in the face every time I saw her advertising her tacky Mother’s Day jewelry.  Didn’t she know that I didn’t want a constant reminder that my own mother is gone?  That Jane Seymour.  So selfish.

It’s been 6 1/2 years now since we lost my mom.  My family just spent last weekend walking in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which is ironic because my mom woulda hated it.  Unlike me, she did not like a lot of attention, having her picture taken, or spending the night (in a tent on a football field) with a few hundred of her closest friends.  She would have hated seeing her name on an illuminated bag and she would have hated seeing her likeness on the big screen while Bette Midler sang "My One True Friend." 

Meh.  I does what I wants.

Our whole family participated, which sounds great in theory.  However. . . . Small was a nightmare.  My good little sleeper did not get a nap, so I tried to wheel him around in the wagon in hopes that he would snuggle up and fall asleep.  No such luck.  He’d toss and turn with his “kanket” and his “pappy,” then he’d jump out of the moving wagon and lie down in the middle of the track.  Other Relayers would giggle about how cute he was.  Yeah.  Friggin’ adorable.

I really feel for those families who are fighting the Cancer battle right now, or for whom the pain is still raw.  I can look back now and laugh at how I handled things in my own way, but it took me a long time to get here.

I have a tendency to make inappropriate comments when I’m uncomfortable.  It’s that tension in the air . . . I just can’t stand it and I’ll do say anything to avoid it.  

For instance:

  • My mom’s cancer was extremely advanced when we found out about it.  I was in a bookstore with some friends when I saw 1000 Places To See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz.  I picked it up and thought, ‘hmmmm . . . she better get crackin’.”
  • About 4 days before my mom passed, we convinced her it was time to sign her advanced directive.  It was a tough time, wrought with emotion.  The nurse and the notary quietly stepped in, addressed the entire family, and asked my mom for the names of family members who could make decisions on her behalf and in which order she would like them to appear.  She named me, then my brother Slim, and then my brother The Redneck.  I deadpanned (no pun intended,) “so from favorite to least favorite?"
  • My dad asked me to choose my mom’s clothing and jewelry and to take it up to the funeral home since he had no idea what to pick.  My mom was a jeans and sweatshirt kinda gal, so choosing a dress was slim pickins.  Little known fact: the funeral director wants appropriate undergarments as well.  (This is a relief to me, as I find comfort in knowing I’ll be wearing clean undies when it’s time to meet my Maker.  It’s the least I can do for Him.)  I rifled through her drawers and laid out everything I wanted her to have, but then I thought to myself, there’s NO WAY she would want to be wearing pantyhose for All Eternity.  So I took her fancy black dress, her best jewelry, and a pair of Tweety Bird socks.

I miss her terribly. She was delightfully imperfect, impatient, and stubborn.  I’m not one to wax poetic and claim she was my best friend.  She was NOT my best friend.  She was my mom, and that’s much more rare.  

* A big THANK YOU to all my friends and family who donated to our team and who came and walked with us on Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice, kids.