Mother's Day is one of the happiest days of the year. The weather is usually gorgeous. Everyone gets up early to spend the day with mom. Beautiful flowers are purchased. Perhaps a nice brunch to really show how much you care. An appropriate champagne toast. It's just a great day to spend with the person you love most in life. The person responsible for giving you life. Unless, of course, she's dead.
Celebrating Mother's Day without a mom is not as fun as it sounds. When I had a mom, I didn't think about it. But now, I do. All the time. Passing the card aisle in a store is unbearable. I have no card to buy. The Facebook posts are relentless. Oh you have a mom, a step-mom, and a grandma? I'm so freaking happy for you. It's just an awkward day. I only had one mom and she's not here. Once I realized visiting the cemetery wasn't going to bring her back, I stopped going. The day is useless to me. I had my own kids and naively thought, this will make it easier. It didn't. In some ways it made it harder. I suddenly realized how much my mom loved me. I always knew she loved me. She told me. She showed me. All the time. But it wasn't until I had kids of my own that I knew what that meant.
People always say they would give anything to have one more day with their mom (or other dead person). I wouldn't. Why bother? One day? Not nearly enough. It would take me the entire day to catch her up on everything. I want all those years back and about another 40 on top of that. I want my mom there to see me graduate college, get married, have a career, have kids of my own. I want her here to know my kids and most importantly, babysit them. Then I want to watch her grow old. Then she can die. When I say so.
I can remember my mom playing a song with the lyrics, "you'll never miss a mother's love till she's buried beneath the clay". About as literal as it gets. I hated that song. Still do. While it was playing she would say, play this at my funeral. I was 12. She wasn't dying. It was weird. She would also say, when I die, bury me in a size 6 dress and slit it up the back so I can be a size 6 forever. Now that one I understood. When she really did die, neither wish was honored.
So, once again, Mother's Day is fast approaching. All the commercials. All the excitement. I'm dreading it. But I will get through it like I do every year. I will drink heavily and watch the movie "Mommie Dearest". I will open the presents that my kids made me at school that they have already showed me days before in their excitement. I will act surprised, which is really easy to do when drunk. I will hug and kiss and squeeze all of them so that one day when I'm dead and they are celebrating their own UnHappy Motherless Day, they'll remember how much I loved them. And they'll be grateful that my funeral songs are already on my ipod under "Songs You Better Play at My Funeral". My mom was awesome, but the least she could have done was make me a mixed taped.
Check out more of Eileen O'Connor's musings at No Wire Hangers, Ever