When my mother died, everyone told me that the "firsts" would be difficult. Here's one that I wasn't ready for at all: Mother's Day. It falls the same week as my birthday. Dad wants to visit the grave on Mother's Day. He's oblivious to the fact that I would rather gargle jet fuel and eat ground glass, but whether we go or not, Mom's death, Mother's Day, and my birthday will always be closely tied together.
It's not helping particularly that both a former work colleague and an Airedale rescue colleague died on the same night from complications due to aggressive cancer. I've been in my office the better part of both days since, crying off and on. I embarrassed myself in front of one of the nursing faculty yesterday morning by randomly bursting into tears while she was here to discuss a good date on which to make clinical ID badges for her RN students.
The Mother's Day ads are hard. Reminding myself that I don't need to find a card or order flowers or plan a meal is painful. Some of the commercials are so downright annoying that I can imagine my mother's scathing sarcastic commentary on the subject.
My sister asked what kind of birthday cake I wanted and it hit me that I really don't care, so I texted back "Edible, not carrot". Truth is, I have this sneaking suspicion that all cake will taste a little like sawdust this year. My friend Stefan and I share a birthday, as do my sister's best friend, Beth, and I. Stefan's having a big "Mafia" game at his apartment a week from Saturday and I'm invited, but...I probably won't go because I'm at huge risk of being everybody's least-favorite buzzkill. I've been avoiding social engagements for the most part, so nothing new about that at the moment.
Today I did make a little progress. Someone I once dated married over Christmas, around the time Mom died. I was so out of it and subsequently so down that I admittedly engaged in severely bad manners by not wishing him joy. His wife posted a picture in social media of him with their new dog, a rescued yellow Labrador Retriever. I sent him a message congratulating him on his marriage and the dog, and admonished him to not wear dark suits around the Lab (or, conversely, invest heavily in lint rollers).
So, I guess I'm going to inch through this a little at a time until I finally come out on the other side. In the interim, I've got to suck it up and try to figure out what kind of flowers to take to the gravesite since Mom told us she'd come back to haunt us over artificial flowers. I wanted geraniums (Mom always had geraniums around) but Dad wants to run it past my sister. Oh, and he invited my godmother to meet us for lunch. I love her, but I don't know if I'm ready to see her again. That's the thing about life, though: it goes on.