Saturday, May 7, 2011


It turns out that if I spend half the morning sobbing, and then apply contact lenses and watch construction videos with my son: (a) my eyes will be burning by mid-afternoon; and (b) he will not want to nap. No, he will want to go outside and play.

Here is the thing. I am broken-hearted. I am angry. I cannot begin to express this pain. What can I say, then?

I can say, try not to lose your mother. No, of course you don't have any control in that regard. Life is cruel that way.

Okay then. Perhaps the best that you can do, if you are fortunate enough to have a relationship with a living mother, is this:  Be aware that she will not live forever. Do not consider this fact morbid or shy away from it. No, be aware of it; be influenced by it. Make the most of every opportunity to learn from your mother. To appreciate her. To respect her. To show your love for her. To accept her love. To ask questions of her. Make the most of every opportunity to laugh with your mother. To argue with her if you must.

Because one day, you will not be able to. Either because you will die or, more likely, because she will.

And then she will be gone.

And you will suffer. You will suffer badly. You will miss her very, very much. And as time goes on, you will continue to suffer, a gaping, aching hole in the centre of your being.

And on the day before Mother's Day, this may be all that you are able to muster.

But if you are fortunate enough to be a mother, and if your son won't nap, though he needs a nap, you may say to yourself, "One day, I won't have this opportunity. I won't have this opportunity to spend the next hour with a moody, un-napped toddler." And you may retrieve your warm, sweet boy from his little toddler bed, and scoop him up into your arms, and hold him close, and take him to the park, and show him how to poke a stick into a pond, and you may smile at his smile, and inhale his little boy scent, and hope that your mother can too.

And in your sadness and anger, you will know that you are blessed. Betrayed and bereft, but blessed. You may see, if you dare, that you are becoming a little bit of the parent you've lost. And you will miss her all the more.

And you will find some strength to carry on.

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