There’s this odd burden to participate in the trending topics, or holiday hashtags, even when you’re on a quasi-retreat from Social Media. As such, we find ourselves at Mother’s Day.
In years past, I’d have written up some special memory of my late mother. That in and of itself was a fine tradition. I enjoy remembering my mom, especially after so long a time has passed without her. It’s still disorienting to think that the memory of her is all I can share with people, and that she’s been gone so long.
It gets harder to recall people over time. Enough distance weakens the tether that holds you to their memory.
That’s the way life is, though. We lose and we move forward. Eventually, we’re someone else’s loss.
It’s easy to forget that some people don’t have great relationships with their moms. Holidays like this, loaded with the sense of obligation to honor someone because of their honorific, have to be weird for them.
That’s also a part of life. We could parse any holiday – any event at all – into categories of pain. Pain is as much a part of life as anything else. It’s like a grand subway where, eventually, we have to stop somewhere that sucks.
As much as I don’t want to revisit certain memories on Mother’s Day, I do. I’m grateful that I had a mom that I loved, and who loved me, and who I can remember. Even if it’s only in stolen snippets, I can remember those sense impressions and how hard she worked to make my world make sense.
I don’t really write about those moments very much anymore, because I decided that not everyone has a right to them. Memories of loved ones who’ve passed on to their eternal rest are to be treasured and shared with those whom we love and trust.
That’s not the internet at large. I used to think differently about that sort of thing. I used to work to commemorate her at every chance for the public at large. Maybe I’ll feel like sharing those memories again at some point in the future.
Maybe writing about these thoughts acts as a testament to the tremendous love and respect I still have for a woman who shaped me into what I think is a pretty decent guy. In a way, I don’t know if I think the world at large deserves to know her as well as I did. I don’t know if the world at large deserved her at all.
So I’ll say a small prayer and sing a sad song for a mother long gone. If I’m right about the way things work, she knows I’m thinking of her today. She knows I’m thinking of her every day.
She knows her son still misses her. She’ll also know he’s happy to have had the time he had with her. She’ll know he’s glad she made sure it counted, even when he was insufferably unaware of how lucky he was.
She’ll know, especially, that he’s just as addicted to a late-night bowl of cereal as she was, and that he thinks of her when he has one.
Happy Mother’s Day.