The Last Mother's Day
May 12, 2012 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Dammit ColdChef.

It's 3 months shy of ten years, and I love you and hate you all the same. Mostly I just miss my mom...

For those of you with living family: call them and tell them you love them. Whatever words it takes, say them.
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 4:42 PM on May 12, 2012 [8 favorites]

Thank you for the tears. Sincerely.

I'm quickly losing my mother to Alzheimers. I know the end is coming. Someday. Tomorrow may be my last Mother's Day. She doesn't know it's Mother's Day, and won't remember the visit 5 minutes after we're gone.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on May 12, 2012

My mother is still alive, but it has just been six months since my wife died and her sons from a previous marriage had their last mother's day last year...

So, yeah.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:16 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's eight years and not quite two months for me, Bohemia Mountain. I too knew that we wouldn't make it to one last Mother's Day, but I kept hoping anyway.

Yeah, call your loved ones, everybody: there'll come a day when you can't, no matter how much you want to.
posted by easily confused at 5:22 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

I never knew my dad, he died when I was 6 months old. My mother raised three kids, put us all through college, and was always there for us. I lost her in 1986. I still miss her.

Thanks for the post.
posted by HuronBob at 5:24 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This reminds me that it's especially important to call my mother tomorrow. It is her first Mother's Day without her mother.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:50 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by Phire at 5:56 PM on May 12, 2012

This will be my mum's last mother's day. And she is not even aware of it. This sucks.
posted by nostrada at 5:57 PM on May 12, 2012

I will be calling my Mother and Grandmother tomorrow. I hate being so damn far away from them. But I go home soon... June... six years since my Brother left us.

Time... is cruel to us fragile finite things.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 6:01 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

My mother beat breast cancer last year, and just turned 50 a month ago. This is a very hopeful Mother's Day for me, and I desperately hope there are many, many more to come.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:04 PM on May 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Today is the second anniversary of the death of Helen, a friend, classmate, and a sort of mother to me.

In 12 days it will be the second anniversary of the death of my mother.

I hate May.

Still, I was lucky. I had one last mother's day. I didn't know it at the time, which I think was a good thing. Most of the family was together. We ate. We talked.
posted by grimjeer at 6:26 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I read this this morning. Great writing.
posted by found missing at 6:44 PM on May 12, 2012

Glioblastoma is a bitch. My beloved boss died of it.

After a week at work of typing out other folks ' card messages ....don't wait for Mothers Day to show your love. You never know.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:00 PM on May 12, 2012

This is the second year that I haven't had to worry about buying a Mother's Day present.

I'd give anything to have to worry again.
posted by Lucinda at 7:18 PM on May 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

Our third mother’s day without mother. I always buy gerbera daisies and put them in her favorite vase. Then I call my father.
posted by vkxmai at 7:53 PM on May 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

By the time she was 78, my mum, a German-born Jew had come through World War II, an abusive first husband, a loving but philandering second husband, and barely survived a heart attack at 76, which left her very frail and unable to speak. I would lip read, and when I couldn't catch what she wanted to say I'd ask, "Tobacco? You want tobacco?" (she never smoked). She'd roll her eyes, we'd giggle, and we'd both try again.

When Mum was 78, she and my sister left their downtown apartment building, and bought a house together near my house. Before moving in Mum had new carpets installed and the house repainted. She had a tracheostomy so stayed with me for a couple of days while the work was being done so as not to irritate her sensitive airway. The night before moving day she watched my sons, 2 and 5 years old, run around in her new backyard (which was the whole point of the new backyard), and then later she and I sat up until after 1:00 am laughing and planning. The next morning she died.

Through my teens and early twenties, I tried hard to be nothing like her. I eventually realized I was very much like her. It was only after Mum's death that I realized that being like her was a very good thing indeed and embraced it. The 2 and 5 year olds are now 16 and 19 and I've asked them to mow the lawn and do a spring clean up in the yard as their Mother's Day gift to me. I wish I could call Mum and say, "You'll never guess what the boys did!" but there's a part of me that hopes she knows.

Thanks for the post, ColdChef.
posted by angiep at 8:19 PM on May 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Yes, thanks for the original post, and thanks for the other stories.
posted by caclwmr4 at 8:29 PM on May 12, 2012

Last year was her last Mother's Day. It has been eleven months and three days since she escaped her failing body.

Shortly after that, I started a database called "recollections" to document bits of information she told me over the years that weren't in the interviews I'd recorded with her. One I need to add is when I asked her how she could be so strong, and she indicated it was because others in our family had been strong before her, and she had to try.

So I'll try to be strong today. Good night, Mom.
posted by datawrangler at 10:33 PM on May 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Tomorrow is my first Mother's Day.
Reading this post thread makes my heart feel funny in a way I could not have imagined before. My 3 month old is sleeping next to me in bed. His chubby face is squished up on the mattress. One the one hand, I don't want him to feel the pain and sadness of having a last Mother's day with me; on the other hand, I hope I am a good enough mother that he does. What an odd set of feelings..
posted by HMSSM at 11:59 PM on May 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

Mother's day always felt like a scam to me i'm afraid. As kids we might make breakfast for mum but thats about it. I speak to my mother occasionally now - but I rather resent the suggestion that I should do it today just because marketers tell me to.

I thought this was rather amusing actually:
"The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in America. She then began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s."

Its always seemed quite absurd to me.. to be thankful "of being born". Now that I'm older even more so as you see that really most people become parents in a sense more for themselves than anything else. - its a personal choice to have a child. They wanted to have a child. They did. Its not the case that if they didn't have a child, then some platonic "me-ness" would forever be stuck in a dusty box in the attic of the universe.
posted by mary8nne at 3:10 AM on May 13, 2012

This is my third Mother-less Day. It is also the 10th year since I lost my sister (and only sibling). Days like this make me wish I still believed in Heaven.

N-thing what several other have said. Call your loved ones, even if you don't speak to them anymore . Tell them you love them. Because even if you don't think you do, you do. You don't realize that until after they're gone.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:42 AM on May 13, 2012

Last Mother's Day, we didn't know there was anything wrong. This Mother's Day, my mom can't talk or eat or walk or move easily or breathe easily and she's got the death sentence of ALS hanging over her head. I probably shouldn't have read this.

Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.
posted by amro at 9:25 AM on May 13, 2012

It's strange, when I read this, the tears didn't come, even though my mother died of the exact same thing under eerily similar circumstances (down to the car crash), but Kate Beaton's Mother's Day comic got the yearly tears.

Mother's Day for the unmothered always sucks.
posted by whitneyarner at 11:15 AM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I e-mailed my sister today about missing her and still missing our mother after thirty years and she wrote back that even after retiring from a lifetime of teaching kids, mentoring, god-mothering, etc., some church people still slightly sniff as if, as a childless woman, she is somehow not quite righteous enough. She and I are ancient now but still feel like orphans on Mothers' Day. I remind her that teaching counts, mentoring counts, god-mothering, being everyone's favorite aunt and great aunt, neighbor and storyteller, all of that counts. In this world, we can all use a little more love like mother's love is meant to be, wherever we find it.
posted by Anitanola at 7:11 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's been 8 weeks since my Mom died, on Monday it will be anyway. I spent most of today in bed.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:38 PM on May 13, 2012

Anitanola, thanks -- I'd been wanting to call my (childless) aunt to wish her happy mother's day, and now I'm thinking maybe I'll call her tomorrow or next weekend for a "happy aunt's day" or something. She's someone who deserves the kind of reminders that you gave your sister.
posted by salvia at 3:30 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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