Sunday, May 10, 2009

Every night, without fail, I dream about my mom. Sometimes it borders on a nightmare, with me waking in the morning resentful that in my dream she was ill, or upset. But the other night, I dreamt that she was visiting – and it reminded me of the color of our relationship with perfect exactitude; and when I woke I felt not more agony, more emptiness, but a completeness, a realization that I can fully own our spectacular bond. Just in time for today.

Because really, I’ll say it with the utmost pompousness – I had the best mom in the universe. We all think this to some degree, I’m sure, but I can say objectively that she did everything right (aside from not letting me snack between meals when I was little – she paid for it, because my hypoglycemia often erupted in tantrums).

But once that’s out, what to say about Mother’s Day? I’m sitting in front of two paragraphs that I’m not particularly proud of, that don’t really approach the volume of what I’m feeling right now, thinking - “I need to write about this. Everything will ferment in my mind and turn my life sour if I don’t get it out.” Because today is one of the “firsts”; we are taught to believe lasts are the most painful, but I’ve learned that lasts often go undetected, which is the sweetest blessing. If I had known last Mother’s day was the last, it would not have been Mother’s day, but a premature commemoration. If we had known December was her last Christmas, the beauty of it may have faltered . In my mom’s words, “Christmas is more than undelivered or unreceived presents. The most important Gift of all to us will never let us down.”

I think my mother, not just in her illness, had moments of clarity, during which she imparted to me the exact words I would need once her absence came. And so now I realize that Mother’s Day, like Christmas, is more than what you give your mother. It’s what your mother gives to you.

So I will be celebrating. The most genuine mother’s day I’ve had yet, probably.
How to celebrate, I’m not sure. The only thing I can think to do is remember.