Sunday, May 10, 2009
Statistical evidence has shown that the most heavily trafficked day of the year is...
Mother's Day. Everyone has a mom, whether you are lucky enough to have her with you, never knew her, or she was your best friend and has passed on. The mother-daughter bond has been written about and analyzed ad nauseum, with its inherent clashes, disagreements, and "normal" rivalry. But if you think you don't adore your mother and owe her your life, you are kidding yourself. I've known a few women who have verbally debased their mothers for a variety of reasons, and that is the human condition. My relationship with my mother was often contentious mainly due to the indisputable fact that I was not what she bargained for with regard to the way I dress, the way I think, well...me being me. But for all of our differences, I worshiped my mother. I knew I did not get her "beauty" genes, nor her charm. In my eyes and everyone else's, Helen Lydia (last name omitted) was a glamor girl from back in the day, and the life of the party. But what she was more than anything, was a good mother.
Perhaps we all have different definitions of what constitutes good mothering. I can only impart the wisdom I've attained as a mother myself, and in my world, you put your child before your own needs, you do without in order to give your child, you are supportive and loving though you don't see eye to eye, simply...you are "there" for your baby. And that she was.
She married my dad, my awesome, brilliant dad, and gave birth to the prodigal son, my older brother. Four years later, the rebel came along. I was the quintessential daddy's girl but mommy was my world. My childhood was like many, filled with memories I choose to forget but overall, rather enjoyable in retrospect. I wanted for nothing, but of course, kids always want something. Mom was quite proud of her little girl and primped and fussed over me. Hey, I have the pics to prove it and no, you can't see them. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and I grew up. Oy. I'll spare you but suffice it to say that the dressing rooms of every beautiful store in Manhattan were privy to mom's unhappiness with my choices. So how does one make a mother happy when all else fails? Give her a grandchild. Of course, I did it for myself, but I did get some major points for finally doing the right thing. I gave them another prodigal child, and with all due respect to the world of bias, he is amazing. We want to maintain our own identities, but we also live to please. Those who have not been on the receiving end of parental approval are forever seeking it, if not through the parent, then through their choice of mate. I was the former and I thought I "had" her when I "had" him. Well, I did, for awhile. I still wasn't quite perfect, but I became more mainstream and that suited mom just fine.
Time is a healer, or so the cliche goes. I'm a really poor healer because the pain of losing mom is with me every day. It's been three years, it happened rather suddenly and all things point to malpractice. My once, very vital, youthful, classy, adoring mother was reduced to a wheelchair and a host of medications that were inexplicable. I have little respect for the medical community and no matter how vehement I was, the male elders overruled me at every twist and turn. Sexism in the family? You bet. Of course they wanted the best for mom, but I was just a girl, not worth listening to. Something tells me they regret that.
Well, I've been rambling so I'll revert back to my original reason for this post. It's not political, I really don't care about the Washington Correspondents' Dinner, and for one day, nothing matters to me except my mom and being a mom.
Mom, I know you're with me, I always feel your presence, and I know you love me as much as I love you. I'll bet you'd have been right by my side loving Hillary, too. By the way, Streisand is a close friend of hers, so you did have good taste.
Here's to you, Mommy. For all the times you fretted that you went wrong, here's some comfort. You didn't. I get it, I really do. I wish I had gotten it while you were close enough for me to hug.
Happy Mother's Day, All.