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Mother's Day is on it's way

Started by Cranky Pants, April 26, 2014, 01:44:54 am

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Cranky Pants

I was in a shopping center today......the posters, perfume boxes piled high in the stores near the huge posters of smiling Mothers being given gifts and flowers had me murmuring "Whoop-de-doo" under my breath. 

My son and I have been estranged for 4 years.  I do not check anyone's Facebook page, and don't know where he is, what he's doing or how his life has unfolded in that timeframe.  There are 4 days of the year that bring the memories flooding back, and on Christmas Day I watch other happy families with a powerful mixture of envy and regret, Mother's Day is a day that I try to celebrate with myself, to honor everything that I tried to do (and hoped and expected that things would work out, although that hasn't happened) and his birthday (right after Mother's Day) and my birthday later in the year.  Those days and the lack of contact in any way are like a giant theatre where the seats are totally empty and the silence is deafening in a space where joy, laughter and applause should be ringing out.  In the first year or two, my blood pressure was well into stroke and heart attack territory, but thankfully that has settled down as the years have passed.

My aunt gave me some advice at the time of the break, I poured out my heart to her and she told me in that wise, calm voice that has listened to my tales of woe and whoopee over the decades, "I hate to have to tell you this, but that's life.   Sometimes you don't get what you thought you would, expected you would and felt deserving of".

That's it, I thought to myself? "That's life?"

I don't remember signing up for that, I signed up for "I have a plan, and I always achieve my goals once I set up the plan".  At an advanced age I found out that life can throw you all kinds of curveballs, the sudden death of a beloved after a sudden cancer diagnosis three weeks earlier, sinkholes in Florida that are sucking in cars and houses and even unfortunate people and so many other disasters recently in the news involving a lost plane in the Pacific and the ferry disaster with horrible loss of life in South Korea.  The unexpected outcome when the "That's life" fairy shakes out those dark tragic sprinkles is a subtle reminder that we are all just a heartbeat away from a major tragedy of some sort.

I met some other wise women some months ago and we shared our tales of relationships with our adult children, some rocky and tempestuous and some of the deafening silence like mine.  One woman told me, "You'll always be his Mom, and everyone needs their Mom", another woman whose relationship with her two sons had evolved from a place of constant strife to a more stable relationship told me "Pray for him.  The power of prayer is enormous".  I've never considered myself a deeply religious person, I'm more of the recovering Catholic type, (gotta say that Pope Francis is tempting me to give the Catholic Church a second chance....but I'm digressing.)  I decided to take her advice and pray for my son.  Every morning when I open my eyes I send him a short prayer that goes "I don't know where you are, or what you are doing, but I hope that somehow these vibrations will be go out into the universe and find you and that your life will be just a little bit better for it."  I say the same prayer at night just before I close my eyes.

I don't have any expectations, but perhaps one day the universe will unfold in such a way that we'll be in touch and we'll have a relationship of some type.  If those days should ever come to pass I know it will take a long time and a lot of effort on both parts to rebuilt ties of trust that went up in flames like a dozen cords of wood thrown on a campfire.

I've heard that the cockpit voice recorder has often heard the words of a pilot (or two) whose last words are "I love you, Mom" just before they crash into the ground.  It's a powerful testament to the bond that was forged at birth.

This Mother's Day, I'll go for a walk, find a nice park, maybe buy myself a nice meal or a whole cheesecake to bring home and eat for a week.  It might not be fancy or expensive but I'll remember the good times and fun that we did have when he was growing up and trust that perhaps some day those prayers might just nudge the universe evolving into a slightly different direction from where it is now.

I hope you'll take time on Mother's Day to give yourself a pat on the back no matter where your relationship with your adult children stands.  Being a parent is the most difficult job in the world and much of the time I felt as if I were struggling along trying to figure out the best thing to do for him and to still have an identity and life as an individual.  I never wanted to wind up like some women I had met whose lives were a constant stream of daily phone calls to their adult children because they hadn't filled their life with any type of interests or hobbies of their own and now they were lonely and were grasping for a new purpose in life.

It was a difficult balancing act, I used to feel as as if I was inching my way down a path at the edge of a cliff at midnight (without a full moon of course) trying to be a really good mother but also trying to carve out some time to be a person who had a life of their own, as well as being the breadwinner and everything else that being a single parent entails.

This scene from the movie Parenthood always reminds me of the constant feeling of inching along on a tightrope strung over over Niagara Falls (and my name is not Wallenda) from those days when I first became a Mother. 


Hope you'll be able to get through the days leading up to Mother's Day without any types of regrets and that you'll find a way to add some joy into your life on the day itself no matter what your relationship is like with your adult children.

'Cause ya know, that's life!  I recommend the chocolate cheesecake, have it for breakfast for a week.



Very nice.  And that is the total point, it is our expectations.  They can be totally reasonable but they truly belong to us and no one else.  I will be spending Mother's Day celebrating MY Mothers.  Guess what?  I would rather see their smiling faces and know that I made their day special than have anything myself.  To me, that is my gift, being able to make them smile and make them feel good.  Doesn't get any better than that.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Cranky, perfect sentiments!  I also got a chuckle cuz I too am a recovering Catholic!! 


Great thoughts here, CP and Pooh!

For several years, I've gathered many words of wisdom here, and they have helped so much.

Had a birthday this spring which went by without a call or card from my oldest child.

That hurt but I tried not take it personally. I now understand that the way my child treats me, or what he thinks of me, is not my concern. That's his problem. And there's nothing I can do about it.
I refuse to let my feelings get in the way of enjoying my life, based on what my children do or don't do -- say or don't say. Yes, it takes effort to get my mind and heart in the right frame, but it's so worth it.

Have already informed DH that I was going to treat myself for Mothers Day because I know that I was the best mother I could be at that time. Not perfect, but we did pour out our love on our kids, and in return, we get ingratitude and disrespect. Something is not right with that...

Also, I think Mother's Day is overrated. Don't do something nice for me one day out of the year because of guilt or obligation. Would rather have a simple pleasant call or card on an ordinary day just because ...

Oh well, pressing on through the next season of life.

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Beth 2011

Hi Cranky Pants, Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well.  I came by to see how you all are doing and I saw this from CP.  CP it has taken me over 4 years to accept that no matter how much I planned for the future with DS and DIL and GC, it's not going to happen.  We all live in a small town and everyone know everybody's business.  ::)  DS has since moved over 2500 miles away.  I believe this helped make it easier for him to continue with his own idea of his family's happiness and he doesn't have to answer the constant questions from friends and family members that he continued to run into at the store or restaurants, etc.....  He has moved several times with the company he is with and frankly, I have no address or any idea how to get touch if I needed to do so.  My DH said if something happens to him and this is still going on, do not try to contact DS.  I feel the same way and we have had to have wills drawn up since all this has transpired.  It opened our eyes to a lot of things.  I ask myself if this is how he always was and we ignored and DIL just brought it out more with her influence.  We were just baffled.  It is greater than I so I can tell you this, I sleep good at night and live each day as it comes.  I believe that I have to be here for me and my FOO and he is making his choice too as an adult.  Letting bygones-be bygones.  Wishing everyone Peace.  :)         


Hi back, Beth :)

My vision of motherhood didn't include being left totally behind & replaced by a shiny new FOO, either. I've become, after years at this site, a champ at being oh so pleased for the moms I am thrown in with at work & elsewhere who proudly relate tales of of lovely family gatherings & the love and gifts bestowed in their honor by adoring AC.

By my tone you can probably sense that I am not completely over my pain, but at least I can manage to not spread it around and be a major Debbie Downer out in the real world. Complete peace and acceptance (and forgiveness?) are my next goals.

I'm expecting nothing for Mother's Day from anyone, but I have a spa gift certificate that I bought for myself and will also buy flowers. I honor my mothering, even if no one else does!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


QuoteI honour my mothering, even if no one else does!

Actually, I am lucky (I guess).  As far as I know one son will be accompanying my husband me for a Mother's Day Brunch.  As for the four grandchildren, youngest son, and two daughters-in-law - well, probably not.  Wouldn't it be nice (just once) to have your entire family together for any holiday?  Ah - nasty expectations again - but, it still hurts.


Isn't mothering just the epitome of love and nurture? Who else do we nurture? Ourselves, our spouses, coworkers, friends and even strangers we stop to acknowledge or lend a hand. My dog JoJo looks to DH and me as God because in her sweet eyes, we are. Soak up some of that love and turn it inward fine women!

This forum is yet another way we nurture ourselves and so many others!  Keep on keeping on and count all those blessings?!

If you can't be with the one u love, honey, love the one you're with! Even if the one you're with is simply YOU.

In having an intimate chat w/ DH, we realized that while we both missed out on basic needs as children, we cannot undo what was done, we can give to each other all that was missed and so much more.  We can fill the nurture gaps for this half of our lives. All we have to do is pay attention to the moment and remain on the steadfast path towards a meaningful life. We matter too!

I will be spending the day with my 80 yo mom, warts and all, and am happy to do it. It may be a long time b4 we share another Mother's Day.