My mother used to say “every day is mother’s day.” As a child I never knew what to make of that. I am loath to admit I thought she meant that we were supposed to put her up on a pedestal, bring her flowers and candy every day. Maybe we should have. She never explained herself. She would have a look that my young eyes could not discern and later with repetition of the phrase, I came to ignore it.
There were things I made for my mother that I wanted to give her. They were met with mixed reactions. I had my feelings hurt. There were things that I gave my mother because I thought she expected them and when she would gush over them it felt hollow.
I wonder how many times I have done that to my own children? My mother is gone now. She was not an easy woman. I don’t miss that. I miss what I wanted and did not have. Perhaps that is what all missing is.
My daughter is a person of great compassion. She and I share a sense of humor and a sense of taste. I love her audacity, complexity and drive. I love that she is so strong while being so fragile. She is a giver, a nurturer and a true friend if you are lucky enough to win her favor – which is very easy to do because of her generosity. She is able to learn anything she sets her mind to and is willing to go whatever lengths it takes to do so. She appreciates nature, music, beauty, ideals. She lifts up the fallen, cheers for the underdog, and I think sees people – and tries to appreciate them for who they are.
Her brother is gone and left her at a juncture in her life when they were just beginning to be friends again. The teenage years were gone when both were struggling to be independent. He saw in her all the things I saw and maybe even more. As a male I am sure he had insights I missed.
There are photos of them together at every age. The bond they shared was emotional and physical. He was a perfect match for her genetically as we found out after his death.
Because of them I have my own understanding of the phrase “every day is mother’s day.” There is no day that my children are not a part of. My daughter with her calls, visits and checking in. My son in my memory. I carry them both in my heart.
As much as I would like to think that I was a part of the nurturing that made them who they are and were – I have to admit that the gifts they imparted to me have made me who I am for better or worse.
So I write this and do not include a photo of flowers or candy. No image of children or mother’s with babes in arms. I say simply to my daughter and to my son – thank you for making every day mother’s day.
I love you both so much.