It’s my first Mother’s Day without my mother. She died September 13, 2013. So this post is for all those readers who:
Have lost their mothers, never knew their mothers, fought with them, ran away from them, were embarrassed by them, or were hurt by them.
This post is for the broken mothers, the ones sitting in jail, the ones who are too sick to hug their kids, the ones who hit and yell and scream at their kids because they don’t know any better, and then are ashamed when Mother’s Day rolls around and wish they could do it differently.
This post honors all mothers, no matter where they are, or what they’ve done.
It’s a depressing holiday, come to think about it, because there’s so much pressure on children to find a way to thank their mothers, and so much pressure on mothers to be perfect in their children’s eyes.
So here’s to sloppy, ambivalent, trying, intense, imperfect love between mothers and their children. Here is to learning how to mother ourselves. Here is to finding some kind of way to fill the void. And transforming our loss into…what? Strength. Perseverance. Poetry.
Here’s to recognizing authentic, honest mothers who are only human, after all. Which means that they’re here on earth for a while, and then they’re gone.
If you have lost your mother, I hope today is a day you feel her presence, and not just her absence. I hope her memory gives you some kind of strength. I hope she’ll always be, as my mother used to tell my kids, that little bird flying over your shoulder. Flapping away before you even know it, waving its wing, good-bye.