So, Mothers’ Day came and went without much pomp. Honestly, I kind of ignored it. I hadn’t been home for Mothers’ Day in a long time, so usually the only thing I did to honor the day was to call you and to call Nana. Well, it was the first Mothers’ Day without both of you, so there was nothing to do but go about my business like I do on any other Sunday. Lots of people reached out to tell me that they were thinking of me or sending me good thoughts, and it almost felt weird, like a bunch of people were saying that all in coordination on a random day for absolutely no reason. I felt weird, like I should have been more sad, or doing something special (one person texted me and said that she hoped I was able to do something beautiful to honor your memory). I went to Hannah and Eliza’s for dinner with some folks, and they were asking where one of their friends was, and someone said he was in Dallas for Mothers’ Day, and I had this weird feeling of, “Oh, shit, I’m a bad daughter, why aren’t I visiting my mom for Mothers’ Day!” and then I felt weird for thinking that when there’s no one to visit. Everyone kept asking me if I was okay, and it felt like… why shouldn’t I be? It’s just another day! And then I felt like an asshole for thinking that. Usually on Mothers’ Day all you wanted was for us to leave you alone so you could watch sports and then grill burgers for dinner.
I don’t know what else to say about that, except that it was weird, and whenever I’m feeling weird about something I tell you, and you tell me it’s normal, so that’s what I’ve been telling myself about it.
What I really wanted to tell you was how much I missed you yesterday, Monday, when I was at Bed, Bath, and Beyond trying to get wedding presents for Miranda/Robert and Catherine/Cassy. Especially for Catherine. Her registry list was so long and I didn’t know where to begin. I had told Daddy I would pick something out from he and I and just tell him what it was later. The whole time at the store, I was thinking about what it would be like if you were here. There would be a gift from me, a gift from you and Daddy, and a gift from the three of us. I didn’t want Catherine to not get everything she wanted just because you weren’t there to pick it out. So then I started thinking, what would Mom pick out for Catherine?
I ended up getting her, from me, a set of stemless wine glasses and pretty bottle-stopped. And from you and Daddy – well, on the card I’m putting, from “Robin and Daddy,” because I don’t want to make her wedding all about how you aren’t there, I don’t want to put from “Mom and Dad,’ – and I just had the thought, that I’m never going to get a card or a present from “Mom and Dad” again, it’s always just going to be “Dad,” and then I start thinking about how you’re really the one who has given me birthday and Christmas presents, that Dad’s name is just on the card, and will Dad even know where to begin when it comes from presents, and what was the last present you gave me? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? I want to read it again and again…
Now I’m off on a tangent, but I know you’re still with me, even if you have to read and reread…
Anyway, from me and Daddy I got her a really nice Crock Pot – it’s huge and stainless steel and so pretty! – and then I went to Half-Price Books and bought her a book of slow cooker recipes. After I bought it, I thought – well, Mom approves. I hope you do. I really hate having to guess, “What would Mom think? What would Mom say? What would Mom do?” but… that’s what I’m going to have to go on from here on out.
My mind is going back to Mothers’ Day, kind of – I know that I have lots of people I can call to ask things like that. A few days ago, I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how to cut this cantaloupe, and usually I call you with my cooking questions, so it became this sad little mishap. I ended up texting Deb – I know I can probably always ask her for help, but it feels weird sometimes to ask other women questions I normally reserved for you. I thought about posting something on Mothers’ Day addressed to all of these amazing women who you’ve been friends with forever, who’ve really been moms to me in some way, or friends of mine like Antona and Peachy who’ve been looking out for me – but it felt weird. Wrong. Because I don’t want you to ever think that I don’t need you, or that I’m doing all right without you, or that it’s easy to replace you. Sure, I can ask anyone how to cut a cantaloupe or what kind of wrapping paper to buy, or how to make sure my insurance is set up right, but I just really want to ask you. At the same time, I don’t want you to think that I’m desperately unhappy, or not letting anyone help me who isn’t you, or really struggling without you to help me.
But it’s not like you’re anything right now. Are you? Why do I even bother talking to you when I know you’re never going to talk back?