Posted by: Ingrid | May 8, 2015

Mother’s Day Again

My inbox won’t let me forget that Mother’s Day is coming up.  Countless emails and messages tell me to buy flowers, jewelry, photos, plants… just hurry up and spend money and let mom know she’s loved.

I hate it.

While trying to sort through the miscellaneous and craft items downstairs I ran across a fairly generic floral card with MOM emblazoned across the front.  I think I have dredged it up before in my packing and unpacking.  This time, I ripped it to shreds.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I had an honest-to-God flesh and blood mother who could be the recipient of that pathetic card.  I would rather have one more face-to-face talk with my mom than my little plastic three drawer cabinet filled with letters with long obsolete stamps, a first communion picture, a majorette patch from high school, anything with her handwriting that may give me some glimpse into her thoughts even if it’s only a scribbled note to pay the HSLDA dues.

I keep waiting for Mother’s Day to be taken over with the fact that I am a mother rather than a reminder that my mom isn’t here to celebrate.  I keep hoping for distraction, rather than feeling like Mother’s Day eight years ago was the preamble to the tumor on her brain, the surgery, her last birthday, her death, all slipped together in a span of six weeks, always brought to the forefront of my mind again at the beginning of May.  I mistakenly thought that grieving the loss of a parent in my 20’s would gradually dull with distance and time.

It doesn’t.

Every year that my children are older and more engaged with life makes it harder.  Every holiday that we muddle through on our own without any sense of continuity within the larger scope of extended family makes the ache more pronounced.  Every time I wish that my kids had a grandma to hide Easter eggs or make Thanksgiving crafts, or decorate a Christmas ornament, or buy Easter clothes, or plant a garden or just take the kids when I am busy or sick I am reminded.  And always I feel blindsided and off balance because it comes in unexpected ways and just a little different than the time before.  No one bothered to tell me that the grief was going to grow with my children rather than fade with time.

This is the first year Isaac has taken particular notice at the lack of a grandma and the fact that she is dead, leading to conversations I’d never thought through.  Why did my Grandma die, Mom?  Are you going to die, Mom?  I don’t want you to die too!  I know she died but she’ll be alive again, right? 

After one such conversation around Easter time, made circular because he kept asking if his Grandma would be alive again and I kept trying to make it clear that she would never be alive again like we are right now, he finally came to an end of his questions for a moment.  Pursing his lips, weighing the situation with dissatisfaction as only a five year old can, he delivered his verdict: I want my Grandma back.

And I sat there quiet with tears in my eyes because really, I don’t think I could say it any better.

I want her back too.

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