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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Missing Mama on Mother's Day

Mama and me 
Last Monday I had another of those heart clutching moments that turned my expression sour - as I realized I won't get to celebrate Mother's Day with Mama this year. It's funny how this whole process of grieving for Mama is so full of grouchy anger. You'd think I'd be sad. Instead I'm ticked off at TheUniverse-and-TheWayThingsAre. Grrrrr. Fortunately, God has broad shoulders and  He understands that we all grieve in our own ways. If I didn't know Mama and I would be together some day I would probably be sad instead of mad.

Here at TheCastle we don't really "do" Mother's Day. For almost all of the early years we were too poor to celebrate with stuff and there were other dynamics that prevented us from celebrating in less costly ways. I assured LD that it was just a Halmark Card Holiday and he wasn't to feel compelled to "do" anything. But heck. We didn't "do" Valentine's day either. Lordy - either we really were poor as church mice or I had no confidence in ThePrince - a man who's sentimentality is almost completely self focused - either remembering the day or devising a suitable response.  (probably a little bit of both) It was just easier to have no expectations than to have them crushed.

I know better now and just remind ThePrince that Valentine's day is coming and a poem on a heart is required. In return he gets steak-in-the-kitchen - which we both thoroughly enjoy.

But for Mama. Ahh. That was different. In fact, I lavished special things on both mamas in May because I loved my mother in law  second only to my own dear Mama. She has been gone so long the pinch and the grouchiness has abated but this is the first year in a long time that I haven't gone to spend time with my sweet little mother and oh my goodness how I wish I had one more opportunity. But now I think of it - neither of those women were very sentimental either. Mama always smiled gently at us when we presented our grubby little wild flower bouquets. We wheedled Daddy to drive into town to the drugstore to buy Whitman's Samplers. He always said "She's not my mother. Why should I buy her anything?" But we knew, even then, that he was the sentimental one and had planned all along to take us shopping for a Mother's Day gift. He even paid for everything instead of making us use our allowances. No. The real story is that he was the one who'd be hurt if we were lax or forgot - either the Father's Day thing or his Valentine. So, perhaps Mama is the one who influenced me about not getting all caught up in the gift giving guilt thing. Good thing, too, since ThePrince and I really did live on a shoestring for that first decade.

Besides - I honored Mama every day. I have never liked to talk on the telephone - not even when I was a teen. But I could talk to her every day on the phone and often did. In those early years when we didn't have a telephone, I wrote her letters. I have a box of them now, that she saved and I collected when we emptied her house out 8 years ago.  I shared things with her regularly. She knew about every joy and every triumph and I was careful to shield her from any bad news because I knew how sharply my pain pricked her. Yet if it was important I would share because she was the only one who could soothe. There really never was a Mother's Day for us - not even a Mother's 365 Day. For us, the love, the honor, the devotion was constant. I was deeply blessed by a mother who loved me and it's something that strengthens my spine and shields my tender heart every single day.

So this year, like all the other First Time Without Mama things, Mother's Day will come and pinch my heart and then go. It is just The Way Things Are. 

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