Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Remembering my mother’s birthday in a new life

Today (US time) was my mother’s birthday. She would have been 103 today, and later this year she will have been gone for 40 years. My parents’ deaths were the first truly significant ones I lived through, but I was young and it was a long time ago. Right now, it’s kind of amazing I remember at all, because of the obvious life changes I’m going through.

I remembered my mother’s birthday yesterday, but decided against writing about it, as I have in previous years, because I’d been upset about Nigel earlier in the day and I simply didn’t need any more reasons to feel bad. At the same time, I realised it’s actually more appropriate to talk about her birthday on what was the date she experienced, not a day earlier as I’d done on this blog.

And here we are.

It could be tempting to try and compare my current grief with that of four decades ago, but there wouldn’t be any reason to do that: They’re not very similar.

There is, first, that fact that she died nearly four decades ago, because it really IS a long time ago. My current grief is recent. My parents gave me life, but my life with Nigel allowed me to actually live. They’re just not the same.

Still, I definitely have been thinking about my parents’ deaths over the weeks since Nigel died, and remembering what it felt like, different though it was. Remembering good feelings about my parents, as I have about Nigel, and not about their deaths, has made me feel somewhat better.

On the other hand, these posts have never been about remembering my loss, but the fact I had my mother at all. I’ve wanted to make sure that I remember her birthday because, as I’ve said many times, when she was alive her birthday could get lost in the midst of all the holidays at this time of year. It’s just that this year those memories are competing with my grief over losing Nigel.

Next year will be different—a year is a long time, after all. I have no idea what I’ll be feeling then, or where/how these conflicting memories and feelings will settle, but I know that I’ll try to do a post honouring my mother’s birthday, and probably on this date again.

Because, the reason for these posts is the same: Once again and always, Happy Birthday, Mom and thanks. Always.

Tears of a clown
– one of my favourite posts about my mother

Previous years’ birthday posts:
Still remembering my mother’s birthday (2018)
Remembering my mother’s birthday (2017)
My mom would be 100 (2016)
Mom at 99 (2015)
Remembering my mother (2014)
Mom’s birthday (2013)
Mom’s treasure (2012)
Remembering birthdays (2011)
That time of year (2009)
Memories and words (2008)


rogerogreen said...

My mom died in 2011, and my dad in 2000. The genealogical stuff I'm doing is very much about him. which is a way of remembering him, I suppose

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

It is, at the very least in the sense that it binds the generations together.