Their activity list may include: brunches, lunches, dinners, a spa day or just a day for themselves, Mother’s Day is on Sunday. This day has become a bittersweet one for me. I have no children, not even a pet ( I’d love a small dog but with recurring pain and uncertainty about leaving the house, I could not with a conscience have a dog, I can’t walk ). I had birds as a teen and I don’t want fish or a snake. LOL! In Panama, where my family is from they celebrate this day on Dec 8. So, I can’t call my Aunt that lives there on Sunday. Both women who raised me have passed away.
This leaves my Aunt in NJ as the one I send my card and gifts to on Mother’s Day. I appreciate her so much because there are days I will call her and I ramble on and on about my health or my faith ( She introduced me to Buddhism) and she listens. I don’t often get a lot of the older female wisdom, that so many take for granted. She has lived a life and knows the important things going on in mine. She is my mother’s older sister. So, I say thanks to her and I love you, as she fills a void in my life. She wishes for me the best things in life, most importantly my happiness. For 20, plus years she wanted me to chant and become happy. I was a very hard sell, but she planted the seed of knowledge and after chanting for me and having extraordinary patience, I became a Buddhist. Buddhism has changed me and my life.
I was at a low point then. Illness was ripping and roaring through my entire body. It still is but my attitude towards it, is different My great aunt who raised me (Mimi) was in a nursing home and didn’t remember me any more, due to Alzheimer’s. She had recurrent pneumonia and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. You see, as she raised me, she sheltered me too much. No friends, no hanging out or parties. School, studies and education were of the most importance. She wanted me to do something with my life and didn’t want any distractions, including boys. All types of distractions were sorely needed. To this day my socialization skills are not the best because I didn’t have a lot of practice. Chit chat is not my forte’. Through my Buddhist practice and meeting new people all the time, I am getting better. I did graduate from college and worked as a paralegal for a time. I went back to school for my graduate degree and became a librarian. My career goals were fulfilled. Health issues have now shoved those careers aside for me. Maybe new ones are emerging…
Since I was at home practically all the time she was more than my mother, she was a beloved friend. She had a cheating husband and was unhappy. I became her happiness. Something no person can fill for you. We watched TV and I got any book I wanted to read. She got me hooked on The National Enquirer, Star Magazine and People Magazine before I was a teenager. I also got most of the junk food or clothes that I wanted. I still fight with myself not to reward myself with food and clothing. I am so unsuccessful at it. LOL!!
Later on, when I could have left home and was making my own money; I started having health issues. When her already unstable health became worse, I wanted to provide her with the care she had given me. Looking back, my actions were well intentioned, but I hurt myself and my own growth in the process. We had formed such a bond, I was devastated, confused and relieved all at the same time when she passed. The pressure to make serious decisions for her life was over.
I had felt similar loss when my mother passed away when I was in my twenties, but it was different. My Mother didn’t raise me but she was a presence in my life. She was present at graduations and holidays. She taught me how to ride the buses and the trains. She took me to the nail salon for the first time and to Disney World. She made incredible potato salad and loved Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White and The Jones Girls. She even loved country music. She liked to have a good time, have boyfriends and dance. My mother just wasn’t ready or prepared to be a mother, because she didn’t experience it in her own life. I felt baffled as a child and resentful as a young adult thinking that my mother didn’t want or love me. We never got to talk on a deep level about my feelings. My mother passed away at 51 from cancer and I had many unanswered questions. I think that as time has gone on, I understand her as a person much better now as I have had time to learn about her life, experiences and not just what people wanted to tell me. She wanted the love she never got as a child. I still miss and mourn her because I know our relationship could have been better.
As a kid I felt torn between two women. One was mothering me and the other was my mother. Who did my loyalty go to?
Mimi and Mommy, I love and miss you both terribly. I wish I had just another day with both of you. For anyone who has faced a similar struggle just love them both and know they both love you. Don’t feel conflicted. Treasure them, tell them how much you love them, everyday no matter what has passed. Start from today onward. They won’t always be here to say those simple words, that come with such difficulty for people.
I won’t be making breakfast for anyone on Sunday morning but I know I am not alone. So many have lost their mother, grandmother or mother figure. Let’s never forget them and I wish them, and every Mom out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
https://youtu.be/4I3TxyYDcSw Céline Dion – Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word)
https://youtu.be/3CLlo82PPB4 A Song For Mama- Boyz to Men