Friday, May 12, 2006

On Mother's Day

I suppose I need to deal with this.

The day after tomorrow is Mother's Day. The first one without my mother.

All the advertising and "Make sure you get something for Mom" messages are really starting to bug me. I want to yell at the TV "I would if I could you jerk! Now buzz off and leave me alone"

Part of it was the typical "I should have done more when she was alive". That's pointless for two reasons. First because history is history and no amount of wishing can change that. I did what I did (and didn't). That chapter is closed. Khalil Gibran wrote:

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

The second point is that while I wasn't the perfect son I did OK. We talked on a regular basis. When she needed me I was there. Like the woman in the Gospel I think it can be said of me "He did the best he can". I have to hope that's true because I don't get the chance to improve.

Both of my parents are gone (my father's final illness actually began on Father's Day). I've thought about how to remember them. Both of them would want me to remember them by how I live my life, to be the person they raised me to be. I shall do everything in my power to do just that. But I need to set a day aside when I shall remember them and hold their memories close. Many people would choose the dates of their birth or their death. Their deaths are not what I want to remember and their births are at opposite ends of the year. I could choose Mother's Day or Father's Day. But Father's Day especially will never be the same for me. Certainly not the day to remember my dad.

And so I chose the day that they chose. At the beginning of February, a day in 1956 when the snows fell onto the uniform of a young Navy officer and the dress of his bride. The day my family began, their wedding anniversary.

It means I have to wait almost a year. That's fine. They're worth the wait.

Now the burden of Mother's Day doesn't seem quite so heavy.



Reverend Ref + said...

My parents are both still living. I am not looking forward to the day when I will be an orphan. I think you have a great idea in honoring your parents on their wedding anniversary. Thanks for the insight.

Wishing you well,

lfspansyliz said...

Hey J:

There is a wonderful book called Grieving the Death of a Mother, by Ivan Smith. i have given it several times. On the 1 year anniversary of my grandmothers death to my mother, to a parishoner who at the one year mark was grieving so much i questioned if that was the time to give it to her, and i have read it for professional reasons. It is quite good. i know when i gave it to the parishoner, i told her that i try to give this to people on the 1 year anniversary as it is the first time at best someone can really read the book and perhaps engage meanignfully and fruitfully. this women was so grateful, that i told God he better darn well keep putting this on my heart as to when to give this book out. So while i am not mailing you one because iknow not your address...i gladly will send it to you if you email me at pansyliz[at]juno[dot]com. With you finding a mutual day to honor your parents who both have passed perhaps this book can assit you with any of your plans and thoughts to honor them.

LFS, liz