It’s so much easier for me to say this to others than it is for me to say it to myself.
I wanted a certain experience for Mother’s Day. I wanted flowers and/or a card.
Now, we can chalk this up to the fact that we as a family downplay all celebrations.
“Hey, Happy Freaking Birthday.”
And that should be enough.
I think it just stems from this place that I had to work “so much harder” to get to motherhood that it “should be acknowledged” for me. Pretty fucking please? I mean, how many more times does it need to be diminished into something that just doesn’t even matter?
Eh. But this sounds ridiculous even writing it out, much less saying it, so I digress. And I’ll go buy my own flowers.
Except I won’t.
I just tried to and all of the flowers are gone.
Literally, they are all GONE.
Trader Joe’s is my favorite place to buy fresh flowers, but because I waited until mid-afternoon on Mother’s Day to treat myself, the entire flower stand was missing. Just a vast, gaping hole remained. And basil. There was basil for days. That’s it.
I love a basil plant, but really? This is my symbol?
What am I making it mean about me as a person who didn’t get flowers on Mother’s Day? I know the boy loves me. Why didn’t he make me a homemade card? Because his teachers didn’t make a class assignment of it per usual, that’s why. That’s exactly why. Nothing more. It’s a damn wonder he even knows what day of the week it is. And it’s passive-aggressive of me to not bother to remind the dudes earlier.
If it was that important, I would have, right?
I think I’m caught up and distracted by a lot of things right now. Just learning of Ahmaud Arbery’s life ending jog through the wrong neighborhood really puts me right in my place. I don’t even know if his mother has other children, but it doesn’t even matter.
I’m not even going to bother researching it. That’s how little that it matters right now.
It doesn’t matter how she became to be his mother, but she is and always will be. On this Mother’s Day, she is mourning the loss of her son. I’m staring at the gaping hole in Trader Joe’s where the flowers used to be and she’s reconciling the gaping hole in her heart.
I think of all of the mothers who have lost their children, whether it be to death, incarceration, or the failure of dreams unrealized.
No matter how you slice and dice the statistics, each scenario is a gut-wrenching loss.
I know what it’s like to celebrate your own mother on this day while cursing the fact that it exists in the first place and putting your self-worth in the hands fate.
I empathize with the difficulty that must come from crossing a line of protesters at a clinic even though I’ve never known the depth of that painful decision.
I applaud the strength of character and resolve that it takes to surrender your heart to parents you don’t know and give birth to child that you’ll never raise.
I send gratitude to the mother who admits she never wanted to be a mother in the first place yet she did the best she could with the cards she was dealt.
I send peaceful thoughts to the child who is still mourning the loss of his or her mother on this day and can only think of placing flowers on a grave site, regardless of the age of said child, because we are all still children.
I send my heart to all mothers in internment camps on American soil who may never see their children again.
I send love to the mothers who will never be mothers to another human because that’s how it’s supposed to be for you.
I honor each and every one of you.
And I honor you each and every day, not just today.
I swear that I do.
Just as I know that flowers on my nice granite counter tops will bring me as much pleasure next week as they would have today, I need to also know that I am still a whole person, regardless of how I came to be a mother.
Regardless of what anyone else thinks about it, how they act, what they do or don’t do after all of these years, it means nothing about me.
I am still worthy.
I am worthy because I was born worthy.
Every human being on this earth was born worthy.
Each of us have a purpose.
Some of us are teachers.
Some of us are lifelong students.
Some of us become bigger in death than we were in life.
There’s a reason for it all.
We just have to step outside of our comfort zone to see it.
And there may or may not be flowers on our path.
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