Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

The sun is out.

It's my first Mother's Day without my mother alive. No calls, no flowers, no sharing with her how the boys let us sleep in till 8AM. How they brought us cards, hugs and a promise not to fight for the day.

It is bittersweet.

Last night, I watched a parent show her son how to squeeze a snap dragon flower, to make the 'jaw' open. I remembered my mother teaching me the same. She planted them in the garden for me. She loved bearded iris. I loved snap dragons.

I also remember four years ago in Rochester, her fury with me unleashed on Mother's Day. At the end of the night, so close to an edge I could come back from, I told Jeanine, we have to leave. I cannot live this way. It hurts too much.

I miss my mother's kindness.

I miss the end of the cycle of our relationship- the roses, after her anger, when I was good enough to warrant her pride. The golden light shined and she loved me the most.

I'll never miss her disappointment. The tension as the cycle started to turn- again, always again- to the next confrontation.

Today, I am the end of the line. No Grandmothers, Mothers or Aunts to pay respect to as the generation who gave birth to my generation. It is a role I've never considered.

I am not the end of the line. I am the head of the table. It is my turn to shine, to be the best I can be. To redefine what it is to be a mother, honoring the great parts passed to me, throwing out the rest.

The boys are teetering on the edge of a fight and yet are determined to avoid it. I need to remind Jeanine to call her mother before I take the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee to the back porch.

It is a day that holds sadness and great promise.

Happy Mother's Day.