Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day aftermath

I lied.

It was a sad mother's day for me. I doubt that I'm alone, but I definitely felt that mine came and went with a small whimper. Now, I'm not throwing a pity party...I'm just saying how I feel. My husband was loving and sweet and thoughtful. He knew I was sad, bless his heart.

It's really different for me-- I was raised differently, where I didn't forget birthdays or special holidays. Partly, I wouldn't dare forget...or my mom would've made me feel plenty guilty. But, truthfully, I think it's just the right thing to do. Maybe it's a "guy thing", but I don't know. My oldest brother is really thoughtful, and he rarely forgets our birthdays. My older brother (but the youngest of the boys...I am the baby of the family) is hit and miss. I used to call him, every year, to remind him when mom's birthday was rolling around.

When B was a little boy, he would do the sweetest things for me. Even when his father and I divorced, I can remember my son giving me a sweet present for my birthday or for mother's day. I knew that his father had to pay for it-- and I appreciated that he did that. I still recall each gift he gave me-- several of them are still in my possession--like the little blue glass bird he gave me. I still have it. I still have the faded paper bouquet of flowers he made for me at pre-school. They are priceless gifts. I never really understood why my mother kept her mementos from us, but now I do-- it truly isn't as much what the gift's that our children took the time to pick something out just for us.

Those times have changed. B hasn't bought a birthday gift for me, let alone a Mother's Day gift, in a long time . It's been at least two years since he's even purchased a Christmas gift for me. Again, it's not the gift-- but it makes my heart sad to realize that his money has gone elsewhere. I'm guessing that B has taken on his father's tradition of not acknowledging holidays and gifts. I can remember my 40th birthday-- I had returned from a business trip and B's dad was watching TV. There was no birthday card...nothing. I remember crying because I felt forgotten. Is this what my son has learned, too?

If only he would've bought a simple card and mailed it to me. That would've meant a lot.

I know that I wasn't alone. How many moms don't get phone calls from their kids? I've heard, countless times, that kids are busy making a life of their own. I know that I kept myself pretty busy, at my son's age. But still... I always called my mother and made sure that she got a and, when I could afford it-- I'd take her out to dinner, a movie or buy her something special. When my mother passed away, I found a lot of those cards that she had saved in a special box.

That I was sad about my Mother's Day hit me while I was at Border's, yesterday afternoon. I was looking for a book on Co-Dependence to buy. Standing closeby, were two women giggling and just having the best time. Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell that they were having a blast looking for a book. They seemed like very close friends. I looked up and realized that next to "Self-Help" books were "Sex" books. I smiled at them, and they apologized to me, sheepishly. I laughed, and said, "Hey, girls day out is always fun!"

"Yes", one woman responded..."especially when we are mother and daughter".

Ouch. I envied them with joy in my heart-- if that make sense. How lucky they are.

I suddenly became aware of families-- moms and sons, dads and daughters... and I wondered what my son was doing at that moment-- 2 hours north of me. Was he thinking of me?

As I fell asleep, last night, I said a prayer that God would help me to let go of my worry over him. God has been so good to me and to my son.

I haven't even begun to share the stories my son has confided to me. They scare me, to be honest. That my son isn't in jail, or that he's alive is truly a miracle of God's grace and mercy.

So today-- I spoke with my son, briefly. I tried to be courteous and to hold back saying the things that I wanted to say. I am trying to not ask him a million questions. Still, I annoyed him and he hung up saying that I was "coddling" him. I know where he got that saying...

It's a good thing that a mother's love for her child is unconditional. He has no idea how much he hurts my feelings.

Tomorrow is another day-- and maybe next Mother's Day will be different.



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