Now there is silence. The flowers they bought are wilting. The brunch reservations have been made and honored. We, the motherless, saved money on gifts but still ached to pick up a dozen rouge-pink roses for Mama then take her out to eat, then post pictures of the two of us smiling in Sunday dresses, sun dappling our just-done hair. Today, the Monday after, the mothered and the motherless are equal. Sort of.
We’re a few dollars richer but they got to hug their Moms, smell her perfume on their skin then brag about it on Facebook. (Writing this hurts. I’m forcing my fingers to touch the keys). They got HER. We got condolences. A bum deal, if you ask me.
So what’d you do yesterday?
I’d been bracing myself for Mother’s Day since Mama died June 9. I knew it was coming so I prepared. Toughened my heart, envisioned how I wanted the day to look, allowed time with my children (the oldest one left for an internship in Utah on Mother’s Day morning (and I thought God loved me)) gathered up my two boys who are down for anything, and went to the mall with my silliest, funnest girlfriend. Good stuff, right? Distraction central.
We had a good time: dancing in the bathroom, eating fat, cheesy subs, guffawing a few times and, in the midst of the merriment, only occasionally did my brain whisper, you know Mama’s dead, right? Each time that happened, I told my girlfriend so that I wouldn’t explode in the middle of the food court. That helped to normalize my grief-bursts and relieved some of the sadness. Grief hurts worse when it’s kept inside. It’s like a can of soda that gets shaken after riding in the backseat then opened by someone in their favorite white dress. A hot mess.
I hope you took yourself out of the house or stayed in but took several little grief breaks. I hope that each time you thought of Mama, you cried a bit or a lot then looked outside at a bird in a red tank top and felt better. I hope you hung out with your craziest girlfriend, maybe the one who’s also lost her Mama so being with her doesn’t make you feel worse when she asks you to help her pick out a gift for her mother. I hope you ate something cheesy and warm. I hope you called your Mother’s three sisters and told them you were thinking about them and learned that, of course, they were thinking and praying for you, too.
I hope so much for you. For us. I am so fucking glad we somehow survived yesterday. I hope we remember that each time we survive, we are able to declare: “I am alive. I endured the onslaught of cards bought and roses smelled. I can do this and I’ll do it again, better each time. Mama we made it.”
Ain’t we something?