Our house was filled with family his past Mother’s Day, but a few years ago, I woke to find myself alone on Mother’s Day. Here’s a recollection of that day.
It was Mother’s Day and I was alone. No son. No daughter. No husband. I was completely alone except for my BFF golden retriever, Jazz, and a bossy, gray-haired cat named Pumpkin.
I walked through the house. Upstairs. Downstairs. Up to the loft. No human being could I find. I stood in the loft, looking down into the empty kitchen and the den with its silent television and considered my situation. My son was in California visiting friends. My daughter had married and now lived on the other side of the state. My husband (God Bless Him) was in Texas spending Mother’s Day with his eighty-two-year-old mother who is bedridden with Parkinson’s.
Completely alone on Mother’s Day. Sounds sad, doesn’t it? A special day set aside to honor me the mom, and there wasn’t a kid in sight. “My day,” I whispered. “My day to do anything I want,” I repeated, my voice getting louder as a wave of euphoria washed over me. This Mother’s day would truly be mine to do with as I pleased. What would I do with a whole day to myself?
First things first, I decided. A pot of tea instead of coffee. The Sunday morning paper still intact. An English muffin, toasted with Mayhaw jelly (a Southern treat), and nobody asking, “What happened to your diet, Mom?” Meet the Press instead of ESPN. A great start to what was shaping up to be a great day.
A gentle mountain rain began to fall just as I finished the last of the tea. Jazz looked at me with her big brown eyes and yawned. “Great idea, Jazzie!” A nap became the next item on my agenda.
By the time Jazz and I awoke from our nap, the sun was out. I grabbed a diet drink and the novel I’d been trying to finish reading for a month and moseyed out onto the deck. I sat down in the glider and Pumpkin curled up beside me. Jazz sat by the railing watching the four does and two fawns lunching in our back yard.
After finishing the book, I decided a walk along the ridge would be nice. I live in this incredibly beautiful valley in northwest Montana. Our log home is nestled right at the tree line, about a mile up the mountain and a good eight miles from town. The Blacktail Mountains rise in the west. Looking east is Bad Rock Pass and the snow covered peaks of Glacier National Park. Besides the deer, we get the occasional moose, elk, cougar, eagle, and black bear. This is my ten acres of paradise, and the reason I spent fifteen years working the graveyard shift in a Texas oil refinery.
After the walk, I spend a couple of hours writing. Dinner is a salad, a steak grilled on the George Foreman, and a tall glass of iced tea. Afterwards, my little group gathers on the deck again. From here, I watch the sun sliding behind blue-green mountains frosted with the last dollops of spring snow, their reflection captured in the still waters of Smith Lake.
When the phone rings at midnight, I know it’s my son calling for the third time to wish me Happy Mother’s Day and tell me how sorry he was that I had to spend the day alone. His sister had called twice that day with the same lament, as had my husband. I told them all not to feel bad about being gone on my special day. I assured them I’d had a very nice day. They didn’t believe me. How could it have been a nice day without them here to “pamper” me?
“I managed,” I said and let it go at that. Guilt can be a valuable weapon in a mom’s arsenal.
Would I want to spend every Mother’s Day alone? No, of course not. But to spend one whole day doing exactly what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it was bliss …. sheer bliss.
Thanks for stopping by,