Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day?...

I went to bed last night and realized... oh- it's my first Mothers Day tomorrow. I thought about all the celebrations and joy I felt for friends who get to celebrate this day, for the first time this year, after longing for it for so long. "WAIT!... one of those people is you! You idiot!" And... suddenly I didn't know what I was supposed to think or feel.

For so long- this day was to celebrate the Mothers of my life. My own- my SIL (mother to 4 boys... gulp!)- my Godmother and my Memere. Recent memory tells me I searched for a new vegetable starter for mom to plant- a picture, note, card or new recipe for my Godmother and some candy or gum for my Memere.   Candy and gum are one of the few pleasures she's had these past few years.

Those top two fingers gone- she kept on smokin with the last two-- rings now cut off

This year- Memere lies curled up, unconscious for a few days now, on 'comfort meds'. She lives with my Aunt about 300 yards behind me. I've seen her and spent time with her often over the last few years. Slowly- she has endured physical pain after physical pain. Losing one finger. Then another. Breaking one vertebra then another. More often than not- I pray to "God to let her escape any more physical pain- please Lord. Let her find comfort in your Grace and Mercy. "  She is the last. The last of her generation. The last of her siblings. The last of her outlaw inlaws.

On this mothers day- It is my first without my Memere. The woman who practically raised me for the early years of my life. The first time I didn't go see her.  She continues to be slowly passing away.  I've said my goodbyes to her and she does not need me nor want me there.

My son- knows what dieing looks like. He's seen it too often- up close and personal in his short life. The look on his face. His actions around her. He knows. He knows too much for a 3 year old child.

But this day isn't just about my Memere. She's moving on right?

Not knowing what to do- think or feel- was like... a lightbulb somehow went off-- this is one of "those days"- the ones you are supposed to plan out. "There is no one else, going to do this stuff Sh!* head! You have to do this stuff!"

I didn't. I'm a single mother, to a 3 year old toddler, who has no idea what Mothers Day is and planning out a special day would mean there is someone else that needs to be included in his celebration... and THAT, celebrating her, I can't screw up- and I haven't enough information to do it properly.

In spite of the 4 hours sleep he received (and me slightly less) he woke up raring and ready to go. (me, not so much) But after an hour of being awake I realized that this could very easily turn bad- and if I spent the entire day- NO'ing this and Stop'ing that- it wasn't going to be a happy day for anyone. So today- I intentionally- sort of, let it all go. Let him have a day with minimal intervention by me. Instead- I did a little purposeful parenting- you know- all that stuff I studied and planned on before losing my mind arriving back in the states. And it was a great Mothers Day.

Today- I celebrated my son.

I snuggled with my boy. Instead of talking at him from over my shoulder, or running from one place to another- I stopped and looked at him. (ok- not EVERY time- but-- vast improvements) We went swimming, to remind each other that my hands are safe hands and trust, laugh and have fun! (Yes, I also knew it would ensure an early bed time) And because I had no intention of doing more cleaning than necessary, we went out to dinner (an infrequent treat- as you can imagine) and my boy rode home with a balloon tied to his shoe and a milkshake in his hands. He was as happy and content as it gets. Add in the 30 seconds it took for him to fall asleep after he got in bed, and this mother is indeed, happy and content.

After swimming- we eat... and watch trains

Today is hard for lots of people for lots of reasons. Today my mother is losing her mother. For those of us in the adoption community- we are so in tune to the loss that occurs for every celebration- that it is difficult to just enjoy the burnt toast and runny eggs without feeling the weight on your heart, the burden to be deserving, the tears for those lost- some we'll never know. It is hard on those waiting and wanting, with every fiber of their being, to celebrate this day- and yet know, satisfying their need means loss and devastation for another mother. We carry that double edged sword close to our hearts, purposefully, gently and respectfully.  Because- if we don't- who will?

It is supposed to be a day of Celebration! And I think I did a worthy first shot at it. But, I have traveled this road of adoption and I too have been changed. I have to admit- I'm not ready to fully celebrate - and I'm not ready to fully mourn- and do not feel worthy of "Mother- state" yet. So today- I celebrate my son. And tomorrow- I'll do it again- until I'm ready to celebrate her and mourn her right along side me.

ETA: As I published this post- Memere passed.


kristine said...

Oh Shannon, so very beautiful. What a wonderful way to celebrate. I too have a very active son! I love swimming! Such a lovely way to connect.

I'm sorry about you losing your dear Memere. So difficult.

I love the photo of the two of you after swimming.

Happy Mother's Day!

{Staci} said...

sniffle, sniffle. Thanks Shannon, beautiful post.

Jennifer M said...

I am so sorry for the lost of your beloved Memere, Shannon. She sounds like a strong woman- it's easy to see where you received your strength.

Happy first mother's day my friend. I'm glad you spent the day making your own traditions with your son, and making mother's day yours and T's.

And asleep in 30 seconds is a beautiful gift. :-)

Queen Of The Castle said...

beautiful post shannon. sorry about your loss.