Mother's Day

  • Life
  • May 12, 2024

Mother’s Day growing up meant getting something for mom during the annual Tulip Time festival that would be either days or a week before. Looking back many others were probably doing the same.

Everyone has a mom right? Well, in recent years I’ve gotten sensitive about the idea of having a mom.

While everyone has a mom to begin their life with, not everyone currently has a mom. Take my dad, his mom passed away too young after a freak accident just days after beating cancer. In my first marriage, I wanted to recognize her at our wedding. So we put an empty seat behind my dad. My dad had no idea until he looked back. My dad is a man who rarely cries in front of people. Well, that was one of those times. Even though she has been gone for almost 20 years now I get emotional thinking about her. She was a great mom and I know she is looking down from above with a smile.

Then an unexpected and uncomfortable situation arose in my life. I now had technically two moms. My mom and then my now stepmom. Family drama aside this did my head in because I gained a stepmom as an adult. Still to this day I don't call her mom but I think she is very understanding as to why.

Just when I thought I was done getting emotional over motherhood my wife at the time asked for a divorce. This would be weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. I was feeling many things—gutted, betrayal, lost, confused, and needing to feel heard.

I sought out my mom. The first time was rough because she was shocked. Then the second time she was giving me hope. I didn’t want hope. I wanted someone to just listen and comfort me. My mom hates when I’m in pain. She also has always had my back through altercations at home and many of my passions to covering for my many mistakes as a teenager. She’s a great mom. While we don’t have many common interests to just chat about she puts in effort to chat and be there for me. I'm grateful for that.

Then came the third time.

Now this is the Mother’s Day after my wife moved out. We went to Olive Garden, my mom’s favorite restaurant even though she doesn’t like spicy food and most of the Italian food is spicy.  We got seated at our booth where it was me, my sister and her family, my stepdad, and my mom. Everything that happened recently in my life was still fresh and I was fragile. All my mom had to do was look at me with her eyes and I started crying. My mom knows so much about me.

I say all of this because Mother’s Day now means so much more than getting a gift at a local tulip festival.

My now wife-to-be grew up with a mom that never had the chance to fully become a mom. Knowing everything my mom has done for me this breaks my heart knowing she didn’t and still doesn’t have that. She did, however, say to me… “well Derek I may not have a mom, but through you I have two moms.” As you can imagine I cried. Oh heck, I’m crying now.

Mother’s Day is less about gift giving and more about the idea of motherhood.