We didn’t wind up going to my parents for the big Mother’s Day celebration. In fact, when I finally called my mom, as soon as she asked how are you doing, I lost it. Of course she understood, although it wouldn’t have mattered if she didn’t. While it was Mother’s Day, and of course I love her and wanted her to have a wonderful day with the family, this isn’t about her. It is about me. And something I’ve learned through all of this, is that it is OK — and often necessary — to put myself, and Double A first.
Throughout the day a few friends reached out and some family too (although truth be told, I was a bit hurt and saddened that I didn’t hear from more). They’re thinking of me. They feel our pain and sadness. They know what it’s like. But the truth of the matter is, is that they don’t. And that’s lucky for them. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not faulting them for reaching out. I appreciate it. I really do. It’s just that when you’ve had the mom card dangled in front of you and ripped away as much as I have, there’s little anyone can do or say that makes you feel ok with the fact that you’re not a mom, at least of kids who could actually say Mom at some point.
So what did we do? We went to Tar.get. We sat on the deck and read. We went for a walk. And one of those activities didn’t make me sad. The others involved encounters with the blissful looking families. And while I don’t know how much they struggled to get to those families, or what else they have going on in their lives, at that moment in time, they were for all intents and purposes, perfect, happy families. What got to me most was seeing the families with two or three kids…they could have multiple kids and we still can’t get to one. “Do you think they’ll give us one?” I asked Double A (kidding…).
Back in our protected household, I decided to make a nice dinner, grilling up Allen Bros. steaks (if you haven’t tried, you must), and after a tasty meal, we settled in to watch “We Bought a Zoo.” Seemed innocent enough. But nothing is innocent these days. If you haven’t seen it, Matt Damon’s character has recently lost his wife, quits his job, packs the kids up and yep, buys a zoo. He’s running from his old life and memories, only to find that he can’t hide from it. Those memories are with him. Those memories ARE him.
During the movie, Double A turned to me and said, sometimes I wonder if we should pack up and start fresh. I was thinking the same thing. Yet we both know that it wouldn’t solve anything. Tears trickled down my face throughout the movie (as they had sporadically throughout the day), but it wasn’t until the movie was over that the floodgates opened, before I even realized it. I lost it. I lost it big time, and there was no consoling me, in spite of Double A’s efforts.
The truth of the matter is, there are plenty of times that I want to just run away. But I know that I can’t. There are many reasons, but the biggest one is that what I’m running from is a part of me, and always will be in some form or another. And that just sucks. So, no, we aren’t going to go out and buy a zoo or probably do anything deemed that crazy (although it probably wouldn’t hurt to shake things up a bit). We will just continue to try to move forward. To get up in the morning, sometimes with big old puffy “no, I haven’t been crying all night” eyes and go to work. And continue to live. Continue to hope. No, this Mother’s Day didn’t end well, but it is done, and I don’t have to think about it anymore.