For the past few weeks, my Facebook feed has been inundated with Mother's Day advertisements and offers. Looking at them is painful, and I scroll past as quickly as I can. Today I asked a friend if we could meet up on Thursday and he said no, he was working as much as possible this week since Mother's Day was coming and he wanted to have the day free to spend with his mother. I think I simply replied 'Ah' and closed the conversation; I should probably apologise to him and explain.
I've explained what's going on with my mother and my family in this post; basically I haven't seen my mother, who has Alzheimer's, since the beginning of January 2016 (when I only got to see her for like ten minutes in the doorway of a psych ward) and not for several months before that. We're still in the middle of very drawn-out legal proceedings to get her back from the scumbag, which he is of course doing his best to delay.
I miss her so much.
I'm living in Perth now, and when I set up my altar for the housewarming in February and texted my sister to ask about the proper rites and rituals, and referred to the instructions my grandmother had written out for me for the housewarming ceremony, I broke down and cried. My mother was very religious, and I really wanted to be able to turn to her. To have her instruct me and approve of my new oil lamp and bell and altar layout, to approve of what I'd done with furnishing and decorating the entire house and advise me on colours and what I should have in my kitchen, to perform prayers and sing hymns with me like we used to do every Friday night when I was a child.
(I mean, she wouldn't approve of me living with Mark when we're not married because she was immensely traditional, which we clashed over a lot when I was a teen, but that's a different can of worms which I don't think would have been insurmountable. I do think she'd have liked Mark, that aside. She liked him the one time she met him.)
And the thing is, even if we do get her back, my mum is gone. Oh, she's physically alive, but everything that made her her is likely gone by this point. The woman who raised me and took care of me and taught me and sacrificed for me, who loved me, is gone. She won't remember who I am, or my sister, or my father. She won't know why this strange woman is addressing her as Amma.
Sometimes I dream about home and my family, but in these dreams my family is whole, like some sort of alternate universe where my brother didn't turn out to be a sociopath. I dream that my mother is still with us, and she doesn't have Alzheimer's. I even have a brother, an actual brother, not a greedy vengeful piece of shit who tore my family apart. It often leaves me in tears when I wake up.
I love my life here, but I still wish that I could also see Mum when I Skype my family. I keep myself busy and occupied though, so most days I can live my life fairly contentedly provided I'm not reminded of all this.
So yeah, two days in the year are extra painful for me these days; Mother's Day, and her birthday (December 20th). Her birthday tends to sneak up on me though, which isn't so bad in some ways even if the day itself sucks. With Mother's Day, I'm getting these constant reminders that make me think of all the past Mother's Days I've spent with her and what I have to look forward to this Mother's Day. Bloody ads.