Sunday, May 13, 2007

Motherless Day

This, then, would be the third Mother’s Day I’ve experienced without a living mother. I’m still not used to it—as if I’ll ever be.

I still awake on this day with the nagging feeling I ought to call Mom, and unlike times when that little voice could be silenced simply by picking up the phone, I no longer have such an easy way to connect with her. So, I’m left really at loose ends, quite a different result from those days I could talk with my mom and have her answer all my questions, even those I had no idea I was asking.

I still sort of expect her to beat me to the punch, which she did the time I waited too long in the day to make the call. Rather than sitting around for me to fulfill my filial duty, she simply dialed my number and reminded me what day it was. This was much more effective in getting me to never forget again than was my father’s technique a few years earlier of phoning me the day before and securing my promise to call.

It’s not, however, that my mom was the sort of mother who put a lot of stock in the traditional sort of expressions of gratitude expected of children on this day; she considered Mother’s Day a made up Hallmark card holiday; nevertheless, she wanted me to recognize and be able to dispatch the traditional expectations for kids on this day, even if she herself didn’t really care all that much.

Were she still around, I probably would have sent flowers and we would have chatted about mundane things: the approaching conclusion of the school year, the recent fortunes of the Pittsburgh Pirates, which vegetables are currently becoming available at the Farmer’s Market.

Afterwards, I would have gone about my day, thinking kind thoughts about her and how lucky I was to be her son.

I still do that, too.


Anonymous beth h said...

I just went back and read this for the first time, a week-plus after it was posted. Eleven years after my mother died, it still feels odd not to have a mother in the wirld, to be awlking around with a Mom-Shaped Hole inside. The hole's edges have worn a little smoother with time, and it doesn't hurt in the same way now; but the hole is alwasys there to remind me of what/who I had and lost and will always love.

9:07 AM  

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