So, How Was YOUR Mother's Day This Year?
So, how was your Mother's Day? Different, I'm sure. No celebratory dinners with family. No "real" hugs and kisses. Just your best attempts at blowing a kiss, taps on your heart to show your heartfelt love (careful not to look more like a gorilla), arms wrapped around your body as a gesture resembling a hug. And all of this broadcast live over Zoom, the first opportunity (if you can call it that) for every relative and friend to see and/hear one another unless videos and microphones were muted. (Check out the "Zoom Church" on the May 9, 2020, edition of Saturday Night Live for a hysterical take on the potential fiasco when muting goes awry.)
Zoom made a killing this Mother's Day, along with the ubiquitous Amazon. Numbers aren't out yet re Hallmark sales. Mother's Day had been the third-largest card-selling holiday of the year, but it's a no brainer that this year those numbers must have taken a hit. Even if you braved (or were reckless enough) to go to a store, ruffling through cards wearing rubber gloves or trying to see through fogged glasses caused by the escaping breath in your fashionable mask adorned with birds or the plain white masks with the pinched nose piece made the normally challenging task of finding just the "right" card even more frustrating, if not downright impossible.
Yet for me--despite all the glitches and consumerism--Mother's Day gave me the time to spend with my mother who died eleven years ago. It gave me the chance to look through photos, to laugh at all those crazy times, to cry at the memory of difficult, trying times. There was a photo of my mother holding a "Vote for Obama" poster. Sadly, she died a few months before his election. (Gratefully, she didn't live to see the election of our current President. As a lifelong progressive, she would have been horrified.)
In the process of sorting through the photos, I reaffirmed all that she taught me and the role model she was. Sure, there was the time she read my diary and then grounded me.
(I did jump out of my first-floor bedroom window after dark and shared a ride downtown with a friend.) And her "sage" advice to "Move on" when my first love dumped me in my senior year of high school. I wanted to kill her!
All those times when my mother supported me, even when the odds were not in my favor: my writing, my decision to divorce my first husband, the raising of my child, her only grandchild.
The time when she and my father traveled to help celebrate my 60th birthday. I mean, how many of us are lucky enough to have both parents alive and kicking when we turn the big 60! There was a family trip to the Galapagos Islands. My speaking gig at a Sarasota bookstore that was SRO because my mother rounded up every person she knew and then some. If you didn't show up, you were on her "shit" list. And you didn't want to be on my mother's "shit" list.
I don't need a special day to honor my mother and the life tools she taught by example: organization, dedication, perseverance, and, yes, grace under pressure. She lost her first-born son to suicide and somehow carried on and lived a full life for another six decades. Close to death, she told her caretaker that she was so looking forward to seeing her son (my brother) again.
While I don't know whether or not we "go around again" and meet up with those near and dear, I do know that, as Nancy Friday declared. "My mother, myself."