Mother’s Day in France is not until May 26, but in the States, where my children live, it’s Mother’s Day today. This Mother’s Day is the first without my mum. I spent last mother’s day with her, brought lunch over to her house because she no longer wanted to go out. I think I made a quiche. Whatever it was had required some effort on my part and I wanted her to compliment me on it, to tell me how delicious it was. Instead, she kept nattering about the birds and squirrels and something she’d seen on TV and I remember feeling frustrated and finally asking whether she liked it.
She shrugged. “Well, I ate it, didn’t I?” But then she patted my arm and said, “I’m glad you’re here, that’s all I really want.”
She made it to her 100th birthday in July but by November, she’d had enough. Or perhaps her body had had enough. As tenacious as her spirit was, I doubt she’d have ever let go.
So while this mother’s day has a bit of a wistful feel, I am incredibly grateful that I myself have the fortune to be a mother. In my e-mail this morning, a beautiful video scrapbook from my daughter. Her talent and creativity fill me with pride and are priceless gifts–to both of us. A message from my son; he loves me, that’s really all I need. And Bill who is like another son. A sweet note from Suzanne. I should stop before I get maudlin.
It’s funny really, while my mum was alive, mother’s day to me seemed more her day than mine. Every year, I worried about getting her card in the mail on time. She liked to receive cards early, preferably ten days before mother’s day, so that they could be displayed on the mantlepiece and pointed out to visitors. The words were very important. What seemed overly sentimental to me, brought tears to her eyes.
No need to mail a card this year, but happy mother’s day, mum, I love you. And to my children, you mean the world to me. I love you.