Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Nikki reminded me that Maura had taught her daughter the art of making and taking breakfast in bed for mom on Mother's Day. Just last year. Is that possible? Could it have been last year? The day that everything started to fall apart? I hadn't realized that it was Mother's Day just last year when I spoke to Dr. Benjamin on the phone. I remember that phone call clearly. I explained her symptoms. I had suspected that her kidneys had shut down. He said it could wait until the first thing the next morning (Monday) and that she did not need to go to the emergency room. The previous visit to the emergency room had not done her much good.
"Have her kidneys shut down?" I asked.
He answered in some incomprehensible and non-committal doctor speak.
"Dr. B., let me ask you another way. Her dad and sister are in New York right now. I want to know what to tell them."
"I think you should tell them to come home."

And just that morning Maura had taught Savannah how to make an omelet and the importance of breakfast in bed on Mother's Day.

This Mother's Day was a day for wallowing. Joel was at work; the girls, in New York and Australia. Yes, a perfect wallowing day--the kind of wallowing that I still need to offset the "normal " behavior I engage in most of the time. Sort of a like releasing a pressure valve.
Church mostly sucked. A woman walked up and down the aisles with tulips that she handed out to moms, and she just passed me over. Tulips to my right. tulips to my left. No tulip for me. I did not look like a mom, I guess, with no husband or children or grandchildren flanking me. I was already in full "mental wallow", so that must have shown on my face. Minutes later, she was at my side. asking if I was a mom.
"Yes." I croaked. I put on my best plastic smile.
She gave me my tulip, and I immediately felt anger. What if I had not been a mom? What if I had said no? Would she have said, "Oh," and turned on her heels and left me there, forlorn and tulipless?
I felt immediate compassion for every unwillingly childless woman. What a painful day Mother's Day must be for them.

But I came home, and there were flowers from a thoughtful friend addressed to both Joel and me, and encouraging notes from internet friends, and lots of good wishes on facebook, and phone calls from my daughters,and a visit from my niece, and skyped calls from Australia and Korea---all of which slowly prodded me out of my funk, gently pulled me from the mire.

Maybe wallowing is more like a mud bath: dirty and yucky, but it cleans out your pores.


Elsa D. said...

um beijo grande e um abraco apertado

Kathy said...

I've been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I don't know exactly how you feel. I do know that May is a hugely difficult month for you. I do know that in your life are beautiful moments and moments of unbridled grief and those moments will be there for a very long time. I am counting the "milestones" with you from my seat in Chicago.
Remembering Maura this month and sending her mom a very large hug.