Thursday, December 31, 2020

Remembering my mother’s birthday in 2020

Today (US time) is my mother’s birthday, her 104th. As of this year, she’s been gone for 40 years. This year was far more notable for other reasons, of course, but it's still notable. I think her birthday is far more notable, though.

Over the past year, I’ve often thought about how my reaction to my parents’ deaths, four decades after they happened, compared to the death of Nigel last year. Naturally, they’re nowhere near being the same thing, for a lot of reasons, but one thing is certain: I’m at the point of remembering birthdays more than the loss.

I remembered my mother’s birthday yesterday, but decided against writing about on the day her birthday arrives in New Zealand, as I always used to do, because I read last year’s post where I’d said I didn’t post on the usual day “because I’d been upset about Nigel earlier in the day and I simply didn’t need any more reasons to feel bad.” I have no doubt that was true, but I think the second part of the explanation was more revealing: “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.”

Maybe that was true. While I’m second-guessing myself, I nevertheless think it was far more likely to have been because I was way too tired to blog, something that plagued me all year (and in several recent years, for that matter). Maybe I actually mostly forgot on the day (as in, didn’t remember when I had the energy to write a post).

I mention all that because I’m still struggling with blogging, and even with doing what's a perfectly routine annual post. I think maybe I was making excuses for myself last year, or maybe I’m just being unkind. After all, last year I also said:
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.
All of that proved to be true—and that last line is actually why I deliberately postponed this post until today. I note that I also made no firm promises last year, and that’s something that’s definitely still true.

All of which just underscores that I’m nowhere near being out of the woods yet, either physically or emotionally. Even so, I wanted to be sure to do a post honouring my mother’s birthday this year, and I intend to as long as I continue blogging (as with everything else, no promises about that, of course).

I’ve done these annual posts to I remember my mother’s birthday mainly because, as I’ve said many times, when she was alive her birthday often got lost amid all the holidays this time of year. This is one small, tiny way I can make that right.

Yet I still managed to make this post about me, yet again. I shouldn’t be surprised, and I bet my mother wouldn’t be, either. I’m not ready or able to return to any sort of “normality”, not when literally everything in my life is in a state of tempest-tossed flux. Still, it’s not much more than a year (15 months) since Nigel died and my life changed so dramatically. I simply need the gift of time, and I know my mother would agree with me—and understand completely where I’m at right now. That's just one more reason for me to remember her day.

In any case, I DO remember my mother’s birthday every year, even this year, and despite everything. It is, quite literally, the least I can do.

Once again and always, Happy Birthday, Mom and thanks. Always.

Previous birthday posts:
Remembering my mother’s birthday in a new life (2019)
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)

Tears of a clown
– A 2009 post that’s still one of my favourites about my mother.

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