In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”
I always think I’ll be fine on Mother’s Day. I always say it does not bother me. I am fine. It’s just another day, I need to go about my business. There is no reason to lock myself up in the house.
So, today, that is what I set out to do. As it happens, this year Mother’s Day falls on my friend’s birthday, so I set out to gather some additional last minute things for our celebration tonight. I resolve to focus on my friend’s birthday, and totally block Mother’s Day out of my thoughts.
I stop by the TJMaxx for a last minute present I just found out she needed. As I’m in the check out line, the girl cheerfully asks if I am having a good Mother’s Day. I take a deep breath and smile as pleasantly as I can, saying, yes, thank you, but mine are fur-babies. Are you having a good Mother’s day as well? I ask back. Oh yes, she responds. Wonderful!
I figure I have done this relatively well. I sidestepped Elephant #1 in the back of my head and was able to be pleasant. After all, she is just trying to be nice and as no idea that I struggle with the idea that I will probably never have children of my own.
Then she asked the next question, Have I gotten my mother a gift, or do need to check out their Mother’s Day display for a last minute idea? Elephant #2, the really big one. Okay, I take a deep breath, I can do this. I paused for half a second, trying to figure which avenue I should take. I realize that, again, this chipper young woman has no idea that she is asking every single question I do not want people to ask me, and she is simply following prompts to boost sales. I decide I refuse to out right lie and say I have bought my mother something, but I see no reason to make her feel bad.
No, I say (and I truly hope my smile didn’t look fake), but I have taken care of my aunt, so we are good with Mother’s Day, thank you. I’m more focused on my friend’s birthday at the moment.
Oh great! the sales clerk replied, still ever so cheerful. But, I think she got the hint this time, as she moved right along to trying to get me to open a credit card.
All in all, I think I handled it pretty well. I remember the year after Mom died, I practically bit off the head of the man in front of me in a line at Target who dared ask if I had remembered to buy my mother a present. I took the opportunity to make him feel extremely small for even daring to presume I would’ve forgotten to buy her a present, but since she was dead I couldn’t, now could I?
I admit, later I was ashamed. I shouldn’t have gone off on that man like that. I was taking out my anger in a bad way. So the five or six Mother’s Days, I just hid all day at home. No reason to interact socially.
Gradually through the years, I have been able to slowly step back into the world without the resentment and jealously flooding out of me. I tell myself I am fine, it does no matter. And I do much better than I used to.
But it is never going to be truly okay and I will always be sad for what I have lost and for what I probably will never have. I accept that. I am grateful for my family and friends that surround me with their love and fill my life in other ways. But I’m always going to miss Mom.