Mother’s Day sucks. There, I said it! I fully admit it. It shouldn’t. I’m the proud and lucky mom of two great kids, a girl, 10, and a boy, 4. They are my life, my joy, and I couldn’t imagine my world without them. But see, I belong to this club, the one that no one ever wants to be a part of. I’m a card-carrying member of the “my mother is dead and it sucks club.”
There are many of us, and aside from that first few days of grief that most allow us, no one cares. No one gets it, except us “lucky” ones. I should be excited that the flowers are blooming and my family wants to take me out to a really expensive brunch, buy me flowers and fuss over me for a few hours (NOT ALL DAY just a few hours.) But the month of May rolls around and all I can think is, here we go again.
My mother died six years ago this coming June 5th. Mother’s Day brunch was the LAST big event I spent with my mom. She had breast cancer and it was stage 4, but her doctors at the time called her a lifer – someone who could live many more years with the disease as long as it was managed with the proper meds. We all bought this line of bull because this story kept her in a positive frame of mind. I always knew in the back of my mind that this wasn’t the case, but I kept up the story too – for her, for those around us. But I never thought, never dreamed, that THAT Mother’s Day brunch would be the last one. Do we ever really stop to think, oh this may be the last time I see a person? No. We take it all for granted. You just assume there is going to be another.
When she did go downhill physically, it went REALLY fast. Shortly after that Mother’s Day, she fell and had to go to the hospital. Three weeks later she was gone. Memorial Day weekend is a hard one too, because every year I mentally relive those last days. Her in her hospital room, just slipping. Nothing we could do but wait for her to go. Some days, I forget she’s gone. For a split second I’ll think, oh, I should call my mom, and then remember I can’t. It never goes away, this emptiness. You just sort of get used to it. Like you do a scar on your knee or the wrinkles under your eyes. They’re there and you can try to cover them up, treat them with creams, wish them away, but they’re here to stay.
Once Mother’s day, Memorial Day, and the anniversary of her death passes, I kind of go back into my normal mode. I don’t relive it as much. I don’t dwell as much. But it’s always there. As a mom to young children, it’s hard to have them grow up without, “Grandma.” My daughter was only 4 when she died and my son never met her. He never met her. That’s so hard for me to think about sometimes.
When a friend or acquaintance starts complaining about their mom, I nod my head and listen. But part of me wants to slap them! How dare they take her for granted! Don’t they know how lucky they are to have her around to complain about? But they don’t get it. They’re not a part of “THE CLUB.” I wish they could be more GRATEFUL for what they do have.
Then I think about how I need to be GRATEFUL. Grateful that I had her and knew her, that she loved me and I her, that she was my first and best friend, and that she helped me to be the mom I am today. And then I think back to this coming Mother’s Day and how I need to be grateful for my kids and honor them. Someday they’ll be in the club too, hopefully not as soon as I was. I hope to be 95 and have them complain about me to their friends. I want them to remember our Mother’s Day’s together and feel good about them. Even if it IS the hardest day of the year for me.
(This post originally appeared on Mom Cave.)
About the author: Dina Drew, mother of 2, is a professional actress who has appeared on shows like “Limitless,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “White Collar” and “Rescue Me;” as well as dozens of TV commercials. She is also a writer/blogger/ photographer/producer/meme maker and frequent contributor to MomCaveTV.com. To learn more about her visit www.dinadrew.com.