So, by 7, Jack was exhausted and happily escaped with Iz into the world of the Sims. Meanwhile, my sister had recently uncovered a box filled with personal mementos of my mom's from years and years before. She brought it all up and we spent hours scouring through things we'd never seen before: her elementary school report cards, my grandmother's death certificate and funeral bill, the menu for my mother's wedding typed up on the most mod stationery I've seen in person, my grandfather's union card, my grandparent's wedding announcement from 1925, envelopes from the early 1920s from him to her—my grandfather apparently wrote to my grandmother every day before they got married. There was a long letter my father wrote to his father after an estrangement that lasted most of my dad's life. A notepad my parents filled jotting thoughts back and forth in a college class. And then there were cards. Valentine's Day cards from my dad to my mom, bursting with his deep love for her. He moved out the day after my high school graduation and it was heartening to see there was a point they had adored each other. I never saw that. Cards from my stepfather too, which added a strange twist. Postcards my mother had written to her mother over the years. And countless cards from me.
Cards for birthdays, mother's day, valentine's day, postcards from traveling, and then the cards just to say I love you. Written to my dearest mumsy. Cards I bought, cards I made, cards so effusive I don't remember feeling that way—not that I don't love my mom but the language was so over the top it they made me both cringe and laugh out loud.
And I realized, sadly, I don't do that anymore. I don't send cards. I don't write how I feel, not in a concrete way that you can pop a stamp on. While I could spin a good story about not wasting paper, not creating something that will end up as garbage, being ecologically responsible, I think a large part is laziness. I'd spend years designing and making all sorts of cards and loved it. Every holiday was a huge craft project. I'd send out dozens and dozens, rarely hearing back. Email is more gratifying. Easier. I moved to e-cards years ago, can design like mad, hit a button and boom.
But my mom doesn't know how to check email.
I didn't send flowers.
We were all here, together, last night and she was in tears missing us all so much.
I get so wrapped up in my own day-to-day that even though I talk to her all the time, I don't take time to acknowledge her.
I love you mom. I'm so grateful that you're still here. I honor the hardships you've survived and the hard times you have now. I will call back sooner. I will listen with less judgement. I will be more understanding and compassionate. I will step out of where I am to remember how lucky I am to still have my mother here when so many don't.
Happy mother's day. The card will be in the mail tomorrow.