Sunday, May 08, 2011
This Day is a Mother
I'm no longer a fan of Mother's Day.
Not because I don't think Mother's should be honored. I do. Honor them every day.
Not because I didn't have a great mother. I did. I was singularly blessed.
But that is why Mother's Day is so hard for me. It is on of those days where the loss of her is particularly acute. And though I lost her 15 years ago, that loss is palpable on most days for me. Mother's Day just amplifies it for me.
One of the hardest things about being in the Foreign Service is that you miss so many of your family's milestones. Births, deaths, marriages...we are often away for that.
And I experience that too. I hate how much of my nieces and nephews lives that I miss...they grow up at light speed, move from wiggling blobs of cuteness to little people, to teens, to adults in no time. But I don't get to be a part of that.
But something even more painful for me is the milestones my mom misses. She never met my wife, and I know mom would love her as much as I do. I know she'd approve, and be happy that I found someone who was both good to me and good for me. I know she was at our wedding in spirit, but I'd have rather had her there in body.
She never got to see me finally succeed. I think she would be proud of me in this career I stumbled into. The interesting things I experience can never be shared with her. A devout Catholic, she always wanted to go to Rome. I went, I saw the Sistene Chapel, saw an address by the Pope. And I can only hope that somewhere, she experienced it with me and that she heard me tell her about it in my heart.
She can never come visit me at post, and I feel certain she would have. I could have given her some cool experiences in exchange for the wonderful childhood she gave me. In exchange for the amazing gift she gave me of never doubting that she loved me. Never doubting that she wanted me.
A friend told me after I lost my mother that it never hurts less. It just hurts less often.
That is the truest think I have ever been told about it.
So yeah, Mother's Day is a mother.