Mother’s Day can be hard for many people. For people whose mothers have passed on, for mothers who have lost children, for people who are estranged from their mothers. For women who have tried unsuccessfully to have children for years. The day can be a painful reminder of what you don’t have rather than what you do.
Every year my friend, Jules, sends her mother flowers on Mother’s Day. And waits for a call from her Mum whom she hasn’t spoken to for 12 years. Last year she waited and waited, and like every year, heard nothing. She drove past her mother’s house and saw the beautiful bouquet she had spent over a hundred dollars on unceremoniously dumped in her mother’s bin.
Jules and her mother are estranged because her mother, a wealthy socialite, doesn’t approve of Jules’ choice of partner. Ben is an artist and musician. A soul of the earth. One of the most giving, caring, nicest men I have ever met. He loves Jules and their two kids but he has no money and in Jules’ mother’s eyes that is a mortal sin. She had a man picked out for Jules who had a top corporate job, went to all the best schools, came from the best family, and had all the right connections, but Jules didn’t fall for him the way she fell for Ben.
Obviously, the backstory is a little more convoluted than I am able to tell here; there were infractions such as Jules and Ben being busted years ago for growing pot, but the gist of the matter is that Jules’ mother has rejected her only daughter because her partner is unsuitable in a socioeconomic sense.
Jules finds Mother’s Day difficult. She has chosen a life that suits her, that allows her to be the person she wants to be. She feels her mother has rejected her for being herself. So on this day, I say, give a hug to those people you know who for one reason or another find Mother’s Day difficult and give thanks if there is a positive motherly influence in your own life, whether it be your own mother or not.
And now I’m off to fire up the barbecue because I don’t actually feel I ate enough yesterday (yeah, right) and it’s time for a nice, juicy steak. And I have people here who are mothers, who have lost their mothers, have children who live overseas whom they never get to see, and who are estranged from their mothers, who need to be fed. And we’re going to enjoy the day together and forget for a bit how complicated family life can be, because for the moment, we all have each other, and I do believe that family is where you find it. Have a good day.