Since Day 365 I have been haunted by Art. It’s like making it to that day I somehow expected that he’d show up at the door and yell “Just Kidding!” …at which point I would beat him to a pulp and then cover every bloody inch of him with kisses. After Day 367 that fact that he's not coming back is more real, almost tangible. And it makes me so very, very sad. It’s like this low level hum, not quiet irritating, not quite clear, but there, vibrating fast of enough for me to know it’s present, not loud enough to make me crumble. It seems to make my movements, my speech and my joy, not less bright but well, less something more empty perhaps. Like they are in a shadow.
Happy Mother’s Day!
(But where is the guy who helped me become a mother?)
This is a day we honor all mothers
(He’s not coming back, is he.)
You are special.
(Not special enough to bring him back.)
Today is the day we honor what you have given to the world.
(His mother would dispute that I’m sure. That world took her son.)
You are the unheralded heroes who raise our future citizens.
(This hero found nothing to say when her youngest was crying about his missing father today.)
You are amazing, full of courage and fortitude.
(OK I’ll take credit there.)
The world is better because of your guts to grow and change and adapt and then change some more.
(True again. I did make to Day 365 which means I will make it to Day 730 and beyond.)
Your love for not only your children but for others determines how we love ourselves.
(Huh. Ya know… getting through this I have learned a lot about self love, about my own
strengths, about how to shine.)
How much we do owe you for your kisses that heal wounds both physical and emotional.
(Not all wounds can be kissed away. I am a mother, not God. But thanks anyway for the kind words.)
So make sure that you honor yourself on this Mother’s Day.
(Two years ago, wow now I say two years ago, he was gonna arrange for me to take the car (minivan back then), fill it with mother friends and head to the mountains for a long hike that would ended with us, the mothers, toasting to ourselves with mimosa and cheese and crackers. He was good, no?!)
So this Mother’s Day honor…
(I will honor. I will honor him for helping me to become a mother. This Mother’s Day I will say thank you to him for making me, the mother of his children, happy, angry, disgruntled, joyful, daring, faithful, tough, humble, fierce and too many other things to be named.
This Mother’s Day I will honor the way good, the bad and the way ugly of our 14 year marriage.
And next Mother’s Day
When I will say "three years ago,"
I will go to the mountains with mimosa’s and cheese and crackers packed by me but enveloped in his love.)
Happy Mother’s Day to me.
Happy Mother’s Day to you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of us.
We matter more than we will ever know.