Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Warning: blatant emotional manipulation ahead.

I lost my mom in 1998, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.

Sometimes I'm enveloped in the realization that I'll never touch or hear her again, and it fills me with an ache.

Mothers are extraordinary, aren't they? At various times in our lives, we hate them and we love them. We need them. We want them to go away, and to come closer. I read somewhere that the toughest soldiers will call for their mothers when injured or dying.
Every year for mother's day I used to call her, or send her a card, or both. One year I sent her a packet of squash seeds in a card for Mother's day. When my mother asked me, "did you know you sent me a packet of squash seeds?" and I responded, yes, I did know that. It's just that I wanted to send her something nobody had every sent her before, that she'd remember (and, I was incredibly poor. And, perhaps, I had been drinking).

She set a good example. She reminded me of Edith Bunker, but not quite as flakey. And, as much as I fought with my mom when I was younger, I appreciated her more when I was out of the house. Once I had children of my own, was then that I realized that parents are just ordinary people, trying to do the extraordinary job of raising children while they're dealing with their own stuff. I wasn't easy to put up with. I mouthed off, got terrible grades, and slammed a lot of doors. Like a lot of teenagers.

My mom welcomed everyone I brought home. Even if she didn't approve, she made them feel welcome. She was a professional artist, and ran a small gallery and did custom framing. People would hang out in her shop, just to be around her, because she was a warm, welcoming person. Sometimes nosy. Sometimes bossy. But always because she cared. It was never a selfish thing with her. I knew that even before she was diagnosed with a disease that had a hideously long name (ideopathic dilated cardiomyopathy).

The reason I'm writing this now is that today is May 24th, and I have accepted that neither of my two oldest children have any intention of acknowledging Mother's Day. Not by phone. Not by email. Not by any indirect means. Not the daughter, who calls me when she wants something, or the oldest, a son, married with a daughter of his own.

I hate feeling this way. I hate the parody of the meddling, self-pitying mother who runs around screaming about how bad labor was (14 hours, and large children with LARGE heads) how ungrateful her children are, etc., etc., etc. I am not that person. I am not Marie Verone.

But I understand the inclination.


  1. Misty --

    You are kind and loving and strong and a great role model. I appreciate all of the work and dedication you put into being the best mom you could be.

    You are extraordinary.

    Happy belated Mothers' Day.

  2. It is a very different relationship we sons have with our mothers. We're spoiled to death, usually...lucky I suppose, but then it makes us overgrown boys for a very long time and our poor girlfriends/wives have to put up with us. My mother is fortunately still with us but I love her very much. Now that I have grown, I find her to be one of my best friends -- can you imagine joking with your mom about relationship and sex? Well, I do want to say that she did raise me right, as I am sure you have with your children. I call my mom weekly and when I grow up, I want to be a lively as she is. She drove from PA to MS all by herself to go to a blues festival -- not bad for a gal on Social Security. You're a go getter from the looks of your blog and I haop your kids have half the moxie you do. So belater Happy Mother's Day and paper yourself with something special.

  3. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY already.

    I feel like such a sh*t, my mom brought me flowers at the race and I had nothing for her...

    Thanks for that...


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