Sunday, May 09, 2010

mother's day - aaarrrghh!

"Nothing else will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own."
--Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons, The Mothers Almanac

what can i write for a blog post today? words don't feel especially pretty here. i hate mother's day - a strong sentiment, i know. And lest, anyone think I'm totally cold-hearted, I wish all of you mother's out there a joyous day. i especially send my condolences to those who grieve because they aren't mothers (i know this day is hard for you, and it's yet another reason for my disdain of the 2nd sunday in may.)

mothers... what can i say? mothers love. mothers die. they hurt. they mess up and they do the best they can. they are loving, hateful, compassionate and cruel. they are the most important thing in the world to us, and we discount what they have to say because "they're just our mothers."

today is a gorgeous day outside. my husband has already brought me coffee in bed and breakfast is on the way. my son sent and created the beautiful card you see here, complete with an original poem. my daughter is still sleeping soundly (which is what a 17 year old girl should be doing on sunday morning). i have lovely plans for the day - some just for me and others spent with my family.

i have already shed tears for the loss of my mother who died 6 years ago today on mother's day. i have been angry at her and myself. i have grieved for friends who i know also struggle with this day, and i have rejoiced with those who relish what it means to be a mom. before 8:00 a.m. i have felt a full range of emotions including laughter, tears, anger and grief.

And
... i believe that's what being alive is all about - it's about feeling our feelings. i recognized quickly this morning the pull between the radiant sunshine and warmth that greeted me outside and the tug inside my body that screams "I hate this day." it isn't one or the other. it's both, and the more clearly i can name it, the more i can be present to this day - or any other. so regardless of your mother-status or gender, i send you warm wishes on this sacred sunday.

may you feel your feelings fully and celebrate the beauty of who YOU are!!!

12 comments:

Christine Claire Reed said...

Beautiful, meaningful post. Thank you.

Such a difficult day for adult children of abuse, too, as we mourn mothers we never had. May we all find peace and Other Mothers. I know I have been blessed with a plethora of mothering female guides in my life and I am grateful for every one of them.

Tess said...

One of your excellent "and" posts. I don't think I knew your own mother had died on mother's day. Really tough.

There are so many people out there - daughters, sons, mothers, non-mothers, who have a difficult day today.

I'm blessed in having had a wonderful mother and a relationship with her that was as un-ambivalently loving as human relationships can be. (That is to say, always a little bit ambivalent.)

Let's celebrate being alive. Let's live the phrase 'radical aliveness'.

lucy said...

CCR - being a therapist, so much of the abuse i witness has been at the hand of mothers. i also shudder to consider my own children in therapy discussing me... i love what you say about mothering each other. i, too, have received mothering from the most wonderful and at times unexpected places.

my sister and i have begun to re-parent each other in the past few years. the healing is remarkable.

hope & grace. pathways don't always look like we might imagine. rambling here... thanks for listening :-) xoxo

lucy said...

tess - "radical aliveness" i LOVE it!!!

my mother's death was the beginning of a series of mother's day "tragedies". a child disappearing from home one year - an arrest made another year... it's a day that even though my mind speaks of joy, my body has a memory for those tender spots that only heal with lots of time.

wishing you lovely memories of your own mother today!! xoxoxo

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Mother's Day, to me, is one of those commercial holidays, hyped by Hallmark and the like. Everyday is a day to honour and give thanx for my absolutely amazing Mum. Hope you had a lovely day.

A poignant post.

x

Barbara said...

A special hug to you, lucy, who mothers us all along with your blog. As Richard Rohr in today's message wrote about, we women are transformative beings. We mysteriously bring all manner of new life into being, in some God-infused and interior way.

As a woman who has never birthed a child, I find the day painful at times. At Mass on Sunday, a dear, ebullient African priest spoke much the same message that Rohr did. At the exchange of peace, he went around to greet each of the mothers present in our small group. When he came to me, I told him I was not an actual mother. He assured me that I was, by virtual of my gender and, I suppose, my presence there. We embraced warmly, but I spent much of the rest of the service mopping tears. Something poked me in a sore spot. Your post makes me feel less alone on this Mother's Day. Thank you.

lucy said...

tinkerbell - my husband and i had very much this conversation on our way home from a lovely evening out. it's really sad how commercialism commandeers the best of intentions and holidays and twists it into something unrecognizable.

in spite of this and my own "aargh-ing" i did indeed have a lovely day. thank you!

lucy said...

barbara - i, too, read rohr's words and appreciate his views on the masculine and feminine.

the situation you describe at church, even with a well-meaning and sensitive priest, is one of the reasons i dislike the hoopla around mother's day. i have witnessed time and again the heartbreak you share here. we each hold our own unique "sore spot", but i'm glad you felt a little less alone here. sending warm mommy hugs your way!!!

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Thanks so much for your honesty. It can definitely be a challenging time for any number of reasons...

.

claire said...

What an absolutely beautiful post.

my sister and i have begun to re-parent each other in the past few years. the healing is remarkable.

Godde bless you for this, lucy. This is just what I needed to read. For my sister and for myself.

Maybe, I could re-parent my mother as well... From afar (she is in heaven) so that I don't invade her boundaries... So that she never feels obliged to hug me.

Thank you...

Karen said...

I feel so ambivalent about this holiday--but then I guess I take issue with so many of them. Why today? Is it just today? Or can it be everyday? Can we show the love and connection every day, or just when it's sanctioned by Hallmark? What's going to happen when Monday comes?

I feel a little less lonely in my crankiness...

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