I start dreading this weekend as soon as the Mother’s Day cards appear in store aisles. It’s the Great Wall of Grief for me and I try to avoid it as much as possible.
And every year since 2003, my first Mother’s Day without my mother, I’ve tried to come up with a strategy for the day. Every year I seem to have a different plan but they ultimately have one thing in common – they fail miserably in helping me through the day.
I want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I want to say home. I want to go out. And so it goes.
Most every Mother’s Day begins the same way for me now. I wake up, open my eyes and remember the day and then I feel this sudden churning deep in my gut– sort of like that feeling when you’re in an elevator and it descends really quickly and you try and catch yourself.
And then I cry. Sometimes softly, but sometimes I sob. I think about going to Harrisonburg, VA and taking my mother out to brunch at the Country Club. I think about what she would wear. My mother never really owned any casual wear and she always looked so stylish and elegant when we went out.
I think about drinking champagne with her. My mother loved champagne. Years ago at an outdoor wedding, we both were in our cups – or flutes as the case may have been – and giggled together all the way home in the back seat while my father and my partner at the time shook their heads.
Mostly I think about what we would talk about over brunch. We never ran out of things to talk about.
We just ran out of time.
They say that the longest day of the year is the Summer Solstice in June. I would argue that it’s the second Sunday in May.
Afterword: Through the magic of Facebook, I was given a gift this Mother’s Day weekend in the form of a blog post from Kate Spencer, entitled How I’m Making Mother’s Day My Bitch. It is, in a word, brilliant. Brilliant.
May it be a gift to all of you missing your mothers this weekend.