It's an odd thing when a day only really means something to one person. Many of our milestones and special days are shared if not by the larger culture or society that we live in at least by our family. Holidays and birthdays are shared events. They mean something, not always the same thing, to a number of different people. There is a sense of commonality in that, it's comforting, at least to me.
Today is different. Today is a day that really only means something significant to me with very few exceptions. Today is the 5th anniversary of my Mother's death. Today is a day that is shared with my sister. This is the day we became Motherless Mothers. Today is a day I share with my Dad, this is the day he became a widower. It's such an odd sensation, to have a day mean so much to you but to see the world going on around you as if nothing is different but inside your heart and mind, so much changed on this day 5 years ago.
So today I remember my Mother, Sharon. I remember the good; she was an amazing baker and she alone inspired my love of books by reading Little Golden Books to me until I was finally satisfied that the Poky Little Puppy did make it home. I remember the bad; she was a complicated, often sad, soul that had a lot of growing up to do but never had the chance to do it. And I remember the ugly; she had a wicked temper.
I mourn the loss of what was but also, perhaps more profoundly, I mourn the loss of what should have been. My Mother struggled while raising us, I can look back at my childhood now with the eyes of an adult woman and a Mother myself and find sympathy for her, I can see her, with the passage of time, as the flawed but lovable woman that she was. But where she really shined was later on in life when she was finally blessed with Grandchildren. She loved being a Grandma and she spoiled those girls rotten. I was pregnant with Paulo when her dementia really took hold and we started seeing the early signs. And it was immediately following his birth that her behavior took a dramatic change. My Mother, who had to be put on a visitation schedule with my nieces, held my son twice. Once the day he was born and one other time when she came for a visit and I gave him to her so I could eat. That second, and last, time lasted about 30 seconds before she declared him too heavy and handed him back to me. I remember being so confused. Her visits to my sister had to be scheduled but with me she was ready to leave after five minutes and didn't want to hold my son. I didn't know at the time that her dementia had robbed her of her ability to feel and express empathy and love. I would not find that out until my son was 9 months old. She never held him again, just those two times, and for that I will always feel that my sweet boy missed out.
I suppose with every passing year it gets easier, the pain less sharp, but it's still hard and every year come June I am struck with how much I miss having a Mother of my own. My Mother was my cheerleader, whatever I decided to do she would support, and boy could I use some of that Momma love these days.
RIP Mom, I hope you finally found the peace that eluded you during your time on Earth.