Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day

And yes, I did check with the grammar-monster before placing the apostrophe. The monster told me this:
Mother's Day or Mothers' Day?
Mother's Day is the official name of the holiday. It is for each family to celebrate its mother. Of course, grammatically speaking, it could be Mothers' Day (i.e., a day to celebrate all the mothers in the world). However, Mother's Day is the version used in the law which made the day an official holiday in the US, and this is used as a precedent.

I have a number of differing emotions connected to this day.

my Sterling Silver rose
planted in memory of my mother
First I have to say that I have 3 Mother's Days. In Ireland Mother's Day is celebrated in mid-March, in the U.S it is early May, and in France it is late May. I have one child in each of these countries, I do believe that is called greedy? I also have a stepson here in the U.S.  I really think that stepchildren should not feel obliged, nor be expected to honor both mother and stepmother. After all, it is Mother's Day, not Stepmother's Day. It is hard enough on him that he has to answer to two sets of parents, but then to have to do two Mother's Days and two Father's Days is, in my opinion, too much.

My early Mother's Day memories as a mother myself, are non-memories, that is until my children were old enough to take matters into their own hands, the nearest we got to celebrating Mother's Day in our house was the one where the flower shop tried to deliver my neighbor's flowers to my house. I must admit I was speechless when I opened the door to see this huge bouquet of flowers with a man scarcely visible behind it. My first instinct was sad but true - 'You must have the wrong house', and sure enough he did. I directed him up the hill and as I closed the door I wondered what it must be like to have a big bouquet of flowers delivered to the door.

Many years later I found out that it was a wonderful feeling, despite the fact that I tell him I am not his mother, and only his son's stepmother, my husband sends me flowers every Mother's Day (oh and for every other occasion too - you can see more about him here).

But every mother's day I have to admit there is a small cloud, not just because my mother is no longer with us, but because she passed away in early May, the Thursday before Mother's Day in the US. I spent the Friday traveling from San Francisco where I was living, to Dublin, arriving just barely in time to get to the church for the funeral. That afternoon my son took me to buy a mother's day gift for me, a tattoo. I already had three, this was my fourth and final one, on my lower back so I don't see it very often, but when I catch sight of it I remember my mother, not that I actually ever forget her, but I stop and think about her.

That Mother's day, Sunday May 11th 1997, I gathered with my siblings and our children and we celebrated our Mother's life. This year, Mother's Day once again falls on the 11th May and once again I will celebrate her life and all that she has given me.

It is sad on Mother's Day to not have your mother near, but every Mother's Day also spare a thought for those mothers who have lost their children, and for those who would give anything to be a mother but nature denies them.

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