Hallmark Doesn’t Make Cards for Mothers Like Mine

My Little Sir, My Gorgeous Gal

It’s Mother’s Day Sunday. Today is Mother’s Day in Mexico.I spent this morning at a special Mass to honor a mom in Mexico and then a brunch of homemade enchiladas.

It’s a lovely thing to honor your mom. And as a mom, I like it.

But when I read the facebook posts and see the aisles of cards and the  nurseries filled with bouquets, I wonder if there are others like me who aren’t buying for their moms. Who don’t miss their mothers. Hallmark doesn’t make cards for mothers like mine.

I am blessed with Grandmas and a pretty terrific Mother in Law so I still do my part to stimulate the economy for this holiday. I have women who have mothered me without the title. Without the obligation. They may have been a teacher or a school friend’s mom. Or they were an adult friend I made that mothered me when I needed it. Or even now, there is my mother in law. My Mom Olson.

But I would be dishonest if I said I don’t face this week with a bit of a shadow. The shadow doesn’t cast as far or feel as chilly as it used to, but it is there. It’s the feeling of wishing things could be different. Of knowing it should have been different. I don’t miss MY mother, but I miss having A mother.

My mother’s untreated mental illness and addictions compromised her desire to be a good mom. She can be violent verbally and physically. She allows things to happen that should never happen. She does things that you can never do. Or, I guess… Undo.

I had to cease contact with my mother for my safety and the safety of my children. I don’t miss my mother, but I do think of her. And not with anger or bitterness. Our estrangement isn’t a silent treatment stalemate. It was an act of self preservation.

Oddly enough I was not able to take that step until I was a mother myself and needed to protect my daughter.

So, I am looking forward to Sunday. I am relieved I got my things mailed in time so the Grandmas and Mother In Law will know they are loved, treasured and so appreciated. I will pray in gratitude for the other women who mothered me throughout my life because I didn’t always recognize their generosity at the time.  And I will look forward to spending some time in the sun, enjoying my day as a Mom. Avoiding the shadows.