Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day without Mother

Mother, Grandma Amy Wolf (mothers Mother), Myself holding Audrey, 1982

When Mother died, a good friend of mine said, “Mothers Day will be terrible, my first Mother’s Day without my mother snuck up on me and was absolutely terrible, be prepared.” Well, it has come and gone. Yes, I missed my mother. I missed the reason for having a family get together here at my house, and hosting another holiday.

Our house became celebration and holiday central after the folks moved to Emporia. Something I really liked. I got to have everyone at my house, play hostess, celebrate and throw parties, and relish the time together. That is going to be the hardest part of the holidays and celebrations, this coming year at least.

We have been hosting Easter dinner with all the family who lived close enough to attend since before Mother and Paul moved to Emporia. Everyone who could would come for church first, then out to our house for Easter dinner, and then, when the kids were little, an Easter Egg hunt, weather permitting. At Mothers funeral, my eldest niece, RaDawnna talked about roasting lamb for Easter dinner. I joked that if she did, I’d come down to try it (they live in Houston), and the invitation was given and accepted on the spot. This year Roger and I went to Houston, and Nic flew in from Phoenix. We had a great time, and she talked about starting a new tradition of “Easter in Houston”?!?! We’ll see.

Another niece, Casie, upon finding out that Aunt Andrea and Uncle Roger were going to be “alone” this Mothers Day, (Audrey is still working outage, and Nic is, of course, in Phoenix), had invited us to their home, “about an hour and some change” away for Mothers Day Lunch. We were able to go, and it was a wonderful time, and great to have a “different kind of holiday”.

Actually, I face the absence of my Mother every day. It is just when all the family is around, at holiday times and celebrations that the vacant spot is so noticeable. Eventually there will be a holiday that I will have to face without my Mother present. She played a big part at holiday and celebration times because she set a standard of how to do it, and then enjoyed watching we girls take over as she passed the mantle to us.

As I sat at Casie’s table yesterday eating a delicious meal in her beautiful home, and look at the pictures I took of RaDawnna’s festive Easter table, with Easter linens, and decorations, where everyone got a chocolate bunny, I realize that Mother is still with us. The traditions she instilled in we girls, that we have taught our girls are coming out, and showing up in so many details. We now have the joy of watching our girls pick up this mantle and carry on traditions, and start new ones. So in one sense, I haven’t had to celebrate a holiday totally without my mother. She was there in all the wonderful touches in my nieces’ homes and holiday celebrations. She taught us many things about hospitality, hosting parties, celebrating Mothers, and honoring our elders. Isn’t that what Mothers Day is really all about?