My first Mothers Day in the Dead Mom club fast approaches, and though I try to release the importance of hallmark holidays I know this one will wash over me like an ocean tide.
Truth be told my Mother on Mothers day was always a risk. Her mood on every holiday Depended on her own mood towards her mother, or her mood on how her own mother felt about her. Turning her depressed and bed bound if these were in the negative.
A blow up was possible if my Dad acknowledged the day for her inappropriately, unlike myself a cardboard note with a scratched by hand affection was not enough.
The part about that I Don’t get is -none of them called her mom.
Why should they matter on Mothers Day?!
This mothers day the plan is to dress as Peggy Bundy, bed time version, and bring themed food to a friends house- where other folks will be dressed up as a TV mom. Before I get there I thought I would digest some feelings, so when I am watching the pond roll by, and my loud kids, and the various bugs bothering me by being dead in the spots I am trying to sit on, I can actually be there instead of writing this in my mind.
Having your Mom die is wild.
I remember watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, The Body for the first time, and after Buffy realizes her mom is dead she has all these day dreams about an alternate reality where she could have saved her.
My alternate reality day dreams happened when I was out in the world and normal, unsuspecting, half dazed cashiers would ask me how my day was. I said fine out loud, but in my head I just kept saying my mom died over, and over.
My good friend Elana died in 2017, and I was at a field trip for my daughters preschool, and I knew then deeply- that the world does not stop moving for us when we need it to.
But, like Damn.
My mom died on Halloween.
She went to bed on Sunday night and never woke up.
While my Mom was dying I was at home with a friend collaging while our husbands played basketball in a league. Telling her how the next day we would turn my parents home into Block Buster. Boxes of VHS, and props in the corner while we dreamed of eating candy and laughing the next evening.
I’ll treasure that collage forever.
I was walking my dog when my dad called in a panic the next day. I had to walk him back, and then drive the thirty minutes to their house. I parked my car in front of the house decorated top tier for halloween. Jason, Dracula, a Mummy, 6 ft horror and gore all over the front yard. Cop cars sitting in front of my Dads house giving it the ambiance it could only dream of on Halloween.
As we walked up the cement stairs a tiny white feather was on the step, and I knew my mom was dead. No ambulances, no trying to revive her. She was gone. I picked up the feather, and it had a tiny smear of bird poop on the side I couldn’t see when I was walking up.
Very messages from Maria already.
My Dad, the poor guy was being asked uncomfortable questions by the cops who looked so young. I told my Dad I watched enough Dateline myself to know they always suspect the husband and they don’t know anything about you. After I got there at least they stopped asking accusational questions no one who just lost their wife of forty five years wants to answer while her body is growing colder in her bedroom.
The rest of it blurs you know?
All these calls you don’t want to take, all these apologies you don’t want to hear. All the living you still have to do.
All I wanted to do was go home and watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Body episode, because if I was in the dead moms club now it was the best induction I could think of.
It was like that for a week or so. The calls, the messages from people I don’t even like, the messages from people I def don’t talk to anymore, messages from people who just want to know what happened.
I would have rather had food delivery than the calls, and every edible arrangement made it a much brighter day.
My mom didn’t like mostly anyone, and lots of people did not like her, and she always said “Jenika don’t you dare let those people come see my dead body,” so, I didn’t.
Folks did say things like it was unfair, and they couldn’t say a proper goodbye, but people didn’t matter, because she was my Mother, and finally after all these years of watching her do the dumbest shit so people would love her , I got to do what I thought was best.
Also, if people have all these desires maybe we should crowd source funerals going forward, because if you don’t pay baby, you don’t get a say.
I left every single person off the obituary except me and my Dad, and I used her wedding picture because I know nineteen year old her never meant for it all to turn out like this.
She had no idea the twists and turns, and toxic family shit she would never quite escape would get her. She still believed she could conquer them. She still thought she had a chance, that she would escape.
She never quite gave into the idea that she was My mom or my dads wife. She was always still stuck being someones daughter. Someones daughter who would never measure up, never be loved enough, But not in that wedding picture.
In the wedding picture she is in front of all this life, and seeing it in mischievous sunshine.
I’ve missed My Mom along time now.
Way before she died.
When I didn’t stay someones daughter . After I had kids and a husband of my own. She thought maybe I would trade my whole beautiful life in to never measure up and always live in a drama, because she couldn’t stop herself, from repeating what she knew, but I’m not like that.
I think now that she’s over there on the other side she’s most proud of that.
Her favorite saying growing up was “Do as I say, not as I do.”
But, that was only because my mom couldn’t walk her talk, I mean I saw her chart, but she birthed the daughter that could. I saw that chart too.
Glitter Up Buttercups
We’ve got a world to save.