Another Mother’s Day without her

Our second mother’s day since her accident. We were at the grave on Saturday and I sat there wondering how much money people spend on flowers for their dead loved ones, how much money have we spent in the last 478 days on flowers for my mother’s grave? And how long are we supposed to keep it up? For the rest of our lives? I don’t begrudge the money (I only rarely am there purchasing the flowers myself), but wonder anyway.

I was at the Korean market 2 weekends ago and I haven’t been in a Korean market in a long time. I sobbed the entire way home. I had foolishly thought that I was over grieving, but that car ride home make me realize how much I still miss having her in my life. And I’ve been thinking about her ever since.

My sister made Josh and I these beautiful picture frames with photos of us with her. Josh showed me his and I started sobbing. It was a picture of her smiling and him so much younger and smaller in front of Burger King. Time slips by too fast: we age, things change in big and small ways and often irreversibly. Josh will never be that small again. My mom will never smile like that again for the camera. Life is a series of heartbreaks and disappointments and sadness. Mixed in with some less morbid stuff that makes those things bearable.

I look at her photo almost every day. The same half smile on her lips, the same almost sad expression in her eyes. Sometimes I ring the hummingbird chimes, tell her photo good morning or good night, touch the things that remind me of her, wear her ring. Sometimes days or weeks go by and I don’t think of her. And other times I can’t stop thinking about her. Sometimes I sob for missing her. But most of the time I’m fine.

It’s mother’s day and I was thinking about my son today and wondering if he worries about me. We were talking about smoking and riding motorcycles this weekend. I don’t want him to do either (not yet with the motorcycle anyway; never with the cigarettes), but I can’t tell him not to. Not when I do both. I wonder if he realizes we want to protect him, and that when we don’t want him to do these things it’s because of our years of experience, not because we want to deny him pleasure. I was thinking tonight that worrying about your child and worrying about your partner are very different things — you can love both unconditionally, but you accept that your partner is an adult and you don’t try to change him. With your child, you want to influence, change, and shape him and wonder how best to do that without taking away his sense of free will. I don’t have a partner right now, and I’m not the most influential person in my son’s life, but I worry about both anyway.

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