Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's May, and you know what that means. Oh wait, you don't.

It's a bit early for a Mother's Day post, but then again what better way to differentiate oneself! And yes, we realize this is strange written in the third person. No one's forcing you to read, is all we're sayin'.

Today is May.

First, you're welcome for sharing what we're sure is surprising news to y'all.
But second, we'd like to spend a few serious moments describing what May means to us as May will forever be inextricably linked to Mother's day.  See, we lost our own in early May. We remember the day she died. The day before she died. The cruelly beautiful and sunny Sunday that we tossed a shovelful of dirt into the ground. The cruel irony of burying her on the special day we had previously dedicated to the joy of drinking tequila. Sacrilege! And then, one week later, Mother's Day, which seemed at the time to be an unbearable punishment from the universe. 

Still, at the same time, it also seemed an appropriate time to symbolically acknowledge this loss. For that reason, we chose to unveil her tombstone on Mother's Day. That was one year later, one month past the official 11-month Jewish morning period, and though the constant, overwhelming grief had subsided, the intensity had not, and we recall wondering just how much longer that would take. 11 months was not enough. Who were these "forefathers" kidding? And while we were at it - why 11, specifically? Why not 6, or 12, or even 13, which is always a favorite number in Judaism? We couldn't help think that 11 was such an arbitrary number. Did they know something we didn't? Or were they just full of it, making it up as they went along - like the rest of us. Or - what if we were the stupid ones, what if we misinterpreted it and it was suppose to be years, not months?

Of course we'd forgotten that brilliant piece of inner dialogue soon after we had it until today. Now here we are back in May again. The month she passed. The month she was buried. The month where Hallmark shoves our loss in our face over and over each year. Not to worry - we've since forgiven Hallmark given that Mother's Day has evolved from a painful holiday to a bittersweet one as we take a day to reflect on the joys and trials of our own motherhood. So it's with all that in mind that 11 years, several jobs, new friends, even more adventures, one child and one ex-husband later, for the very first time, we had to be reminded it was our mother's Yartzheit. Shit, really? Talk about embarrassing.

Humiliation aside, there is a point to this.  Well, sort of.  We're concluding (to put this all in marketing terms so you peeps understand) that it takes 11 years to fully mourn the loss of a close loved one. Well, at least as much as one can. N of 1, of course, but we figure since marketing is more art than science we're okay there.

Can these two symbols coexist? Maybe they can....maybe they really can!
This week we'll observe the anniversary traditionally by lighting a candle and saying the mourner's kaddish*.  We may or may not enjoy some tequila in her honor this Friday as well, but we digress.  Overall, though, we'll spend our month trying to honor the memory of the best woman we've ever known, and the precocious child whose name honors her grandmother's. If we can be even half the mother that ours was, then mini will turn out just fine.
*Important note: "Kaddish" is apparently in Google's spell check.  You heard it here first.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Beautiful post. Eleven years seems about right.