Mother's day, I have to admit, does not hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps it's wrong of me, a mother, to admit that. I think it stems back to the Mother's Days of my childhood. It seemed that what my mom really deserved or needed on Mother's Day was a day off. Instead she got crappy handmade gifts from our elementary school days and fresh lilacs stole from the neighbors' lilac tree. (She loved them, don't get me wrong... but she deserved more.) What she really deserved or needed was to take a moment to grieve the untimely loss of her own mother. Instead she got half hearted attempts at breakfast in bed or outings planned to look like the pages of a Lands End catalog, with little girls in dresses and boys in sailboats. What she really deserved or needed was more help around the house everyday, not a Hallmark card once a year.
The marks she left are in her daughters. My mom's use of the term, "I have a bone to pick with you"; the way she puts her hand between her thighs if she's cold; my aunt's habit of making piles on her kitchen table; and my other aunt's incredible artistic ability. She left pieces of herself in them, in her three girls, and they, in turn, have passed those pieces on to us, all nine of us grandchildren. She's there, in my name (Rochelle Beverly, officially) and she's there, in the bouts of depression some of us have suffered. She's there in our love of nature, gardening, and home. In our love of painting, love of animals and love of coffee.
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life."