Every year I toy with the idea of not commemorating this day in some way. Not personally in real life, of course. It always dominates my thoughts.
I was going to swing the pendulum the other way, then, and write a remembrance of my father from that day that only I have. I have it written as a matter of fact. But it’s honestly too painful and still a little too personal to share (I do have discretion!).
So at the end of it all I decided I’d just share how tired I am.
After enough time, I felt like I’d gotten used to the absence of my mother. It was painful, but ordinary. Then my dad died late last year and everything became fresh again.
And I’m tired.
I’m tired of people dying, I’m tired of taking solace in my faith (though I will always, because I do have faith) and I’m tired of realizing that my kids will never know her in this life.
I’m tired of suppressing my petulant self, who has the childish impulse to look at some people who are wistful about getting older and say, “Oh yeah? Both my parents are dead before I hit 40 and neither of my kids will truly know them. Try wrapping your sense of mortality in that, instead of how old you feel because the anniversary of an album/movie/event just happened, and you’ll understand why I don’t care how old albums/movies/events are.”
Although it is kind of hard to believe that after more than twenty years, I still don’t give a damn about Pearl Jam.
But to bring it back, I’m tired. And I want to snuggle up with my mom today, like I do every time this day rolls around, or any of a million other times during the years, and tell her I understand her better now than ever.
She built her business (I have a career at least), she strove to teach her children how to be strong and she was a wonderfully insightful person. She never stopped caring for others, even when others didn’t deserve her caring; it was her most timeless lesson.
I won’t say that I hope she’s proud of me, because I’m finally mature enough to realize she should be. I have applied her lessons and I haven’t gone bats*** (yet), and I’ve built a pretty good life for someone who took so long to find his direction.
And so whatever Heaven she’s in, I hope she’s got some time for Dad and they’re both able to rest in peace because they know their sons are doing all right. Because I finally get that part too.
Thanks, Mom. I still miss you and I still love you, but you know that. So let this year be one of those rare times I let you know that I’m not pining for your guidance so much as thanking you for it. It’s gotten me to a pretty good place.