This Mother's Day is different than the others that have come before it. This Mother's Day is not just about me. This Mother's Day, it's been about my own mom more than myself.
In years past, my parents lived too far away to make visits on Mother's Day convenient or possible. Those of you who read my blog know my father passed away a few weeks ago, and I didn't want my mom to spend "her" day alone. Yesterday, I drove up to Oroville to pick her up and bring her home with me. My gift today from my husband was to take her back home, while I enjoy a little "me" time.
To tell you the truth, I was dreading the weekend. The loss of my father was too fresh. My brother and his wife were coming up yesterday to spend time with my mom. My kids were going to be in and out and would be here for brunch today. The plans and arrangements that needed to be made seemed somehow overwhelming, and I visualized the weekend as chaotic.
My mother and I have had a difficult relationship over the years. She's an alcoholic, and that has overshadowed all our lives. Looking back at some of the things she did, they now seem pretty funny. Like the time I brought a boyfriend home for Thanksgiving dinner and she served his turkey onto the plate that she couldn't hold steady, and it slid right off onto the floor. Then there were other things she did that were just downright odd. Like when she babysat our son. When I picked him up after work one evening, I found her feeding him sour cream--just plain sour cream from a spoon. The thing that affected me most, though, were the mean, hypercritical things she said to me as I was growing up and later when I was an adult. Being a mother myself, I don't understand how a mother could treat her child as she treated me, but I know the alcohol changed her in many ways. It's taken me many years to forgive her, but now I think I do.
As it turned out, the weekend was really wonderful. I enjoyed the drive with my mom, talking about this and that, including my dad, all the way home. My brother and his wife pulled up to the house just as we got home, and after visiting for awhile, the five of us--my husband included--went out to a late lunch at Mimi's, where the food was good and the company was enjoyable. While everyone else went back to our house, I took my mom to an art store where I bought her some supplies so she can get back into her sketching and painting--something she enjoyed when she was younger and is interested in doing again. I hope it will give her something to occupy her time and her mind now that she is alone. By the time we got home, my mom was tired out, but we all sat on the patio and talked for another hour or two before my brother and his wife got back on the road home. For the first time since my father passed away, my mom seems to have gotten a long and restful sleep.
This morning I fixed brunch, and my kids arrived. We all ate on the patio, where the weather was beautiful. My mom expressed an active interest in all that my children have been involved in, and they, in turn, were patient with her. It truly warmed my heart.
Now my mom is on her way home, and I hope she's taking with her wonderful memories of the Mother's Day weekend she spent with my family, as I have of her time with us. Sometime over the weekend, it occurred to me that she has almost become MY child. She's frail and needs assistance, although she still retains a certain inner strength that's helping her deal with the loss of her beloved husband.
My Mother's Day wish for all of you moms out there is that you love and nurture your children and show your mom how much you care for and love her. Enjoy "your" day, and always remember to treat those around you with the love they surround you with today. Moms are truly special beings!