My sister, Kelly, reminded me through her own tears that today, on Mother’s Day, it will be the first time since our children were born that we wouldn’t be receiving our yearly delivery of roses from our dad. You see every year Mother’s day was a big deal in our home, even growing up, we went to dinner or brunch or something with all of us kids and often my grandparents as well. I remember many brunches at The Velvet Turtle or some Mexican place that was our latest favorite or Lupo’s Italian restaurant, which was always on our list. With my Dad’s death this past March, there will be many firsts with out him. So, no roses today.
Those loud and crazy childhood memories, of eating too much food, seem long gone replaced in recent years with my parents being conveniently out of town during these types of holidays because of family conflicts and issues which sadly made it increasingly difficult to truly celebrate each other’s lives and special occasions as a larger extended family with all of their daughters and grand-kids around them. Instead it was replaced by a lot of silence and our dad sending a beautiful bouquet of roses to his three girls reminding us how much he loved us and how proud he was of us as mother’s to his beloved grandchildren. The card always saying thank you for giving him Asher and Tova.
Mother’s day was so important to my dad because I believe that one of the things he was in deep gratitude for his wife, Pam, my mom, was how she mothered her daughters. He knew she gave of herself fully as wife and mother so he could do what he needed to do outside of the house; work and provide financially. This was the norm on Pecan Street where I grew up. Mom’s at home and Dad’s at work. Each of them knowing they had it all but also lost something too.
When Kelly mentioned the roses to me I found myself annoyed and not wanting to remember that he used to do that for all us. I didn’t want to feel yet another sad moment of loss. Not only do I never get to watch him play Black Jack or see his smile or hear his “Dad Voice” that I still can hear in my head, yelling from the bottom of the stairs, “Michelle! Get down here!” As I listen to my Joan Jett 45’ on my little blue record player. I will never get roses from him again on Mother’s Day never, ever again.
What I know he would have wanted to see looking down from above this first Mother’s Day after his death is simply not to be. Our whole family being together and the healing of our differences is what at the end of his life mattered most to him. He would have wanted his three daughters and his grandkids together around my mom celebrating her and being there for her on what must be a very difficult day.
But, life is complicated and families struggle and fail on a regular basis without even being able to see the pain and damage they are causing to one another. So all of his daughters who won’t be receiving roses today will sit with their pain and loss in their separate homes, living loud wonderful separate lives, knowing that no roses will come today.
Sadly, this is what my mom wanted for her “first” mother’s day to do the same lonely protective dance to just one of her daughters music. I missed her today almost as much as I missed my dad. One day just maybe she will hear all of her daughter’s loud crazy music together again and we can all dance together without anger and judgment but with love and peace.
My mom who was the first girl my dad ever sent roses to will receive roses today, from me. I hope that makes my dad smile along with my knowing in my heart what really mattered most to him. Who knows maybe next Mother’s Day he will dancing to all the music too.