Mother's Day: How I try to stay OK
Well, Sunday is Mother’s Day. It comes every year, as relentless as the seasons changing, and I tend to approach it half-filled with dread that I’ll feel depressed and half-filled with hope that I’ll be OK.
I wish I could tell you that I do something wonderfully charitable on Mother’s Day – that I volunteer at a soup kitchen or plant a tree. The truth is, those things seem a little too forced or cheesy. On any hard day that has to do with Sally, I really just want to be near my dad and brother (and recently, Mark), who understand me and fill me with great comfort.
Oddly enough, on the first Mother’s Day after my mom died, I didn’t spend the day with my family. Instead, I hid. I went on tour with my band and kept all my tears tucked away as my bandmates called their moms that Sunday. I hadn’t yet dealt with my mom’s death, and I couldn’t bear to face my family – but I did “man up” enough to call my dad and brother and share some mumbled words of how crappy we felt.
For the next few years, we spent the day with my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Brooklyn. Surprisingly, it always felt good to wish my Aunt Christine a happy mother’s day, since she often feels like a mom to me. On that day, she would always say something to me and my cousins about missing my mom, and all our eyes would well up in that way that feels good and bad at the same time.
This year, and for the past two years, I now spend Mother’s Day with my dad’s girlfriend, Susan. She invites over our family and her family, and we barbecue burgers and hang out as one big strange Brady Bunch sort of crew. I have to admit: I really like this tradition. I like that she opens her arms to us on a tough day, and I’m thankful there’s a plan so I don’t have to think abuot what to do or sit around all day feeling sorry for myself. Plus, it means I still get to see my dad and brother and share the day with them, which is what I care about most.
Last year on Mother’s Day, I was feeling blue and Mark said something that really changed my attitude. He said: “Ya know, one day Mother’s Day might actually be a happy day for you.”
What do you do on Mother’s Day, or on other challenging days? I know Father’s Day is a hard one for some of you readers, too. Please share your thoughts with me here.