I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog recently. Mostly because I’ve discovered this app called Anchor, and I’m totally in love with it. It feels like an actual community–the kind I’ve missed for so long and have searched for in the silly social networks we have today. And, as much as I love writing, most times, I have a hard time finding my words. Sometimes, it’s easier just to talk, ya know? In any case, check it out. It’s fun.
Earlier this week, on Anchor, I posted something about Mother’s Day and the commercialization of it. The post was inspired by a Facebook post Hope Edelman (of Motherless Daughters) made earlier in the week about a super insensitive marketing email she received. I’ve often found myself in that same spot. So I recorded a wave about it and got a bunch of responses–one that helped me reframe the day slightly. The lady mentioned that she sees this day as a day for honoring nurturers. And I loved that so much, I put it deep in my heart.
My mother died a while ago, and mostly, I am alright. For a long time? I was not alright. I think of my mother daily and, sometimes, I’m decidedly not alright still. But, most days, I live my life without breaking down. Most days, I remember good things and smile. Most days, I’m healing. Most days, I am a nurturer, and I get that from her–more than anything in this world. Most days, I try to celebrate that part of myself while also learning to harness it so I have enough for myself. Most days, I hope to have a life that reflects that–where I’m someone’s person–where I am not just my mother’s daughter–but some tiny human’s mother. That day is not my reality now. It may never be. But I hope for it, someday, and maybe one day, I’ll have reimagined it into some reality I still can’t fathom.
It’s taken me years to get to this good place–but I am so grateful for it. Still? A random email, like the one Hope received, used to, and sometimes still does, leave me reeling. It’s this weird mix of hot poker anger, blindsidingly awful sadness, and triggered unease. Both for myself and every other human who doesn’t have a mother to dote on today. The assumption that everyone has a mother to shower with affection is just so hurtful–and the fact that it is done so casually…and so routinely…without any real scolding from anyone…just sucks.
When you lose your mother, it’s an odd thing–but you become a second class citizen in a way. Like single people on Valentine’s Day. Or the childless.
I mean–face it–our society values those who marry, procreate, and have families far more than the single, childless, and orphaned. I get why. But–if you…like me…are part of all three of these categories? Existing in civil society is a bit of a challenge–one that often requires turning away from the Internet and television and etc on certain days.
I mentioned it all–this year, on Anchor–not because I was actually feeling triggered by anything–but because I’ve been there. And as someone who has been there, I wanted those who haven’t been there to consider their actions and words a bit more on this day–on all days, really–but this one because of how hard it can be.
Of course, this meant people assumed I was in pain–and I appreciated their sweet wishes. I did. Really. But I was alright. And the act of sharing it seemed to invite something in from the Universe. Though I didn’t share with friends at all that this day was hard, I had friends who tried to include me in things. Some even called to check on me. And it was funny–but it made me wonder what had changed from the years when I actually was in pain. Probably me, yea?
It’s easy to be open about things when you aren’t stinging from something. It’s easy to invite people in. But if you’re like me, at all, when it stings? You push away and use that pain as armor. And it becomes a shield and a cage.
I’m tired of being caged and I’m tired of shielding myself. I’m tired of my pain being a part of my soul and body. And that might be why it’s not there anymore…may be why I’m not in pain today. The tears come, sure. But I am an open window instead. Letting things sift through the screen. Bigger things get caught in the mesh–but I honor them and suddenly they become liquid and float through.
I miss my mother. And I could fill books and books of pages with words about her–hell, I have and will again. But it’s enough–today–to just be her daughter. To go about my normal day. Because she wouldn’t have been a mother without me. Just as I would’ve been nothing without her.
And it makes today okay. It makes all the other days okay, too. And it helps me get closer to myself–which always brings me closer to her.