Archive for May 12th, 2012|Daily archive page

Missing Mother’s Day

I will not see Mom tomorrow, on Mother’s Day. I will be driving back home from a vacation on a North Carolina island. Patrick and I have come here every year since 2008, and our intent is to keep up that annual pace, and perhaps even get down here again in late summer or early fall. It is my favorite place on Earth, and it calms me to the core to be here.

I missed Mother’s Day a few times when Mom was in assisted living, and she didn’t really notice. I have attended the parties at the nursing home the past two years, though, and had snacks with Mom – and also with Mr. R at least one time. Last year, I got a little corsage to wear even though I am not a mother. Mom is less aware than ever, so I know she won’t have any idea that I am not accompanying her on this party day at the nursing home. I will be aware, though. Just as I have been aware every Mother’s Day for the past several years, I will know that I still have a mom, but she is unable to be a mother to me anymore.

I dreamed about Mom this week. It is the new way that my anxiety manifests itself: I dream that Mom is more with it than she actually is, and she is living in the house in which I grew up in Columbus. I have trouble handling her, and my goal is to convince her to move back to the nursing home. I wake up confused and in a bad mood, thinking for just a few seconds that I have this huge task hanging over me to get Mom back to that blasted nursing home. Even though I quickly realize that the reality is that Mom is safe in the nursing home, this dream can affect my mood. I was very tired on this particular morning after having this dream, and I was grumpy. Not a good state of mind for vacation. It eventually went away.

It has also become a habit for me to cry on the last full day that we spend on Bald Head Island each year. I took a brisk walk this morning, and after saying goodbye to the turtles at my favorite spot on the island, the tears welled up. I wept while trying to keep up my walking pace, and cleaned my dripping nose on my shirt. The great thing about this place is that there is nobody around to notice such things. I haven’t determined yet whether this is sadness about leaving or preparation for re-entry to my life – a life that is mighty fine, by the way. Perhaps it’s a little of both. I’m sort of amused by the crying, to be honest.

To be clear, I am not crying about Mother’s Day. In the past, the marketing associated with the holiday pissed me off or made me sad. I am used to it now, as are others with mothers who are ill or dead. It’s just something to endure. Presumably if I were a mother I’d have a whole different outlook on this weekend in May. But I have no regrets about remaining childless (by choice). It has worked out well for me to not have kids since I have had a mom to take care of for so many years.

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