It is the sign of the changing of the season when Mother’s Day rolls around. All the nurseries open and flowers are available to purchase for the eager gardeners. I am one of those people who wait all year for this. I used to take off from work and go to the nursery to purchase my annuals. I would walk around grinning and nodding to other shoppers who found this ritual to be a total renewal in the faith that life continues on. For some women, this is a time to celebrate children. I am not sure why we have to pin point a specific day for the honoring of child birth, other than to sell cards and flowers. I think it is more important to honor people all the time. But some would say that is my sour grapes speaking.
I am childless. Oh, it is not for lack of trying. I just never was blessed. I went through a lot of the fertility tests and did all the things that were supposed to help. But my husband at the time was not of the same mind, so we never delved into all the reasons why. That is to say in a delicate way, I am not sure if the issue was with me. When the conversation comes around and people are pontificating that they have no regrets, I pipe up that I do. This is the one thing in my life if I had a do-over, I would. I wanted children since I was a child. I had names picked out. I kept things for them to give them when they came into my life. There is nothing I can do to change that now, but I do feel I have the right to be regretful about this.
I have had wonderful children come into my life. I am still in contact with some of my favorite students who were mid-teens when we first met. Many of them now have their own families. I am very close to my two nephews and love them to pieces. But they are in Florida and only talk on the phone with very sporadic visits. I am hoping to end up living nearer to them at some point.
My husband’s family is pretty close and yet, there is a huge gap between his feelings of connection with them. We spent this weekend in the hospital because his father had a huge scare. He seems to be ok, but then, we are not being told the whole truth by his older brother. When we visited Dad without anyone else in the room, he told us he has end stage renal disease. He also said he is not planning on making his 94 birthday which is in October. I am not sure how severe the situation really is as he is not on dialysis and it has not come up in conversations at all.
The real issue this Mother’s day is his Mom. She has dementia and probably Alzheimer’s. Joe does not spend time with his mother and so we only see her with the family and she is pretty quiet but very nasty. This concentrated time this weekend really highlighted how bad she has gotten. The stress is probably what put Dad in the hospital. They have been married 64 years. She is totally dependent on him and yet is horrible to him. So the family is facing putting her in Memory Care where she will get the care she needs and my father-in-law (FIL) can get stronger and have a good remaining life. You can see the pain and guilt it is causing my FIL, but something must be done as she is becoming dangerous. She is wandering in the night, and has other issues. He deserves better care for himself.
My thoughts are how sad that this is how she is going to end her life. She has three children, none can help her now. She is horrible to everyone as the confusion of dementia is scary. Her children see her as a twisted monster, and not the mother who gave them life. She will spend her remaining years alone as even with the family close, she has no clue as to who we are sometimes. Yesterday as I sat with her, she was peaceful and enjoying our visit. But she was lost, and repeatedly asked where her husband was. When we were sitting with Dad in the hospital, we called and his sister put her on the phone so she could talk to him. His face completely changed and you could see and hear the love they still have for each other. This whole weekend has reminded me how precious relationships are.
My Mom died when I was 22. I have been without her for almost 2/3 of my life. There have been many moments in my life when I miss her. I am lucky that I have had great female friendships that have connected me with the nurturing part of my soul. I am by large, a nurturing person too. I connect with Mother Earth so strongly and get my strength from her. My garden is my refuge, my plants and animals are my children. So today, I honor the part of us all that sustains and gives us strength to grow, to love and be loved. I honor the Mother in us all.