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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Am I a Bad Son???


My Mom's Favorite Cookies
Driving into work this morning, I heard a commercial on the radio to order flowers for Mother’s Day which is this coming Sunday.  I immediately made a mental note to order flowers for both my wife – who’s the mother of our two girls – and for my mother-in-law.

My own mother didn’t even cross my mind.

The reason being is that she died in a car crash more than six years ago.

When I see that in writing, it doesn’t even seem possible that it’s been that long since she’s been gone. But during that time, Mother’s Day has completed shifted its meaning for me.

I see the excellent job my wife is doing as a mom and that has completely redefined “motherhood” in my eyes.  Don’t misunderstand me, I still love my mother and I do miss her from time-to-time.  But I don’t tend to think about her in connection to Mother’s Day any more.

I tend to think about her at the oddest times – such as when I’m walking someplace and catch a whiff of someone wearing her perfume (Este Lauder); or spot someone that resembles her from the back or hear a laugh that’s similar to hers.  Other odd triggers are turtlenecks, Stella D’oro cookies [see photo insert] and “It’s a Wonderful Life” – because those were “a few of her favorite things.”

At those moments I remember she’s gone.  And it’s at those times, I have a sense of loss that’s coupled with a flood of emotion – but I find it odd that I don’t have any emotion about her on Mother’s Day.

Perhaps it’s a repressive response to avoid pain or an unconscious defense mechanism to preserve my self-perception of masculinity, but I don’t think so.

If I recall my psychology 101 course, I’ve probably sublimated those negative emotions into a genuinely positive expression of gratitude toward the wonderful mother that my wife is for our daughters. 

Regardless, the fact that I don’t get weepy over my deceased mother on Mother’s Day doesn’t make me a bad son – I think it makes me a better father and husband.  Maybe not....

3 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post, you obviously loved your mum so much to remember the smaller details.
    She must have been very proud of you. We really dont need to be prompted by Mothers Day to have these wonderful memories.

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  2. I have always considered it a compliment when being called a "Momma's Boy", and you give your mom the best gift every year by being a great husband and father.

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  3. Awwwe. Dang. That made me tear up.

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