Girl Who’s Tired of Being Reminded
Okay, this one probably isn’t going to make me very popular. If you are one who has always and will always love the “day” celebrations honoring this one and that one in your life–then okay. No offense meant. Personally, I’m over these days. Valentine’s. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Grandparent’s Day.
Why can’t we honor and love and be kind to these folks everyday? In the words of Miss N from my Sister Circle, “Why’s it gotta be just one day?”
I’m thinking it’s because you won’t buy a card if you’re doing it everyday. Right?
All right, in all seriousness, here’s my problem with the “day” thing. It excludes people. It leaves folks out. And that was in my Mama’s top three rules. “Don’t leave anyone out.” I’m not placing all the blame at the foot of the card companies, but they are the ones whose displays and tear-jerking commercials remind us we must do something for the day. Them and the sales on things that are not related at all–like grey tissue boxes and size H crochet hooks made from rosewood. And 20% one item coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the mailbox in honor of the day. (They never expire you know, despite what they say.) And then there’s some pastors and church folks who decide to honor those special people that day. *sigh* What a relief it is to be in church on one of those Sundays and get through the whole service without mention or reminder. So thankful when that happens.
Sure, it’s wonderful to honor your parents. Or your grandparents. Or the love of your life. I’m all for it. I grew up doing it, making cards, cooking waffles for a special supper, making a cake with so much blue dye in the icing it almost took my Daddy out–yeah, I was full of the love and the spirit.
I see it a little differently than I did back then. I see my friends who have no roof over their heads, remembering children who long ago stopped searching for them. Or parents who did the same. I see the Mama who had to do what no Mama should do–go through a day all about Mamas when she, for the first time in years, had no child to hug her or treat her to dinner. I see a child in adult’s clothing, gripping tight the tissue hidden in her hand, so she can wipe the tears quickly so her own children won’t notice her pain. I see the young woman bemoaning another Valentine’s without someone special to share it with. I see a child torn as she tries to honor one while grieving another. And then there are those who are estranged from the one the day calls us to love and honor. It’s painful and private and suddenly a spotlight is on the relationship that isn’t. And all of these precious people put smiles on their faces and try to carry on as though nothing is out of sorts as best they can. So those who are having a wonderful time celebrating maybe won’t know.
I love my children and Fella. I appreciate their efforts to honor me and make me feel special on that day. Hey, I appreciate it any day that happens. And I want to honor my Fella as a good person and Daddy. But we tend to keep it low-key. The Fella says he’s just happy to be home. I usually have help making his favorite dessert and we hang out and call it a day. And it’s good. And I’m thankful he’s okay with low-key because anything else would send me on another spin on the grief wheel pretty quick. As it is, when I’m by myself I say a quiet thank you to the man who loved and raised me, and I try to move beyond. That’s hard to do sometimes. I don’t know how my Mama did it all those years. She made us feel special that we were honoring her, all the while she was grieving the relationship she never had with her own mother. And we didn’t know until we were much older.
If you love these days and really get into them, that is great. I think it’s wonderful the ones who go all out with teas for their Mamas or big barbeques for their Dads (and vice versa), big candlelit dinners and a night out on the town with their Valentine, or a picnic with their grandparents. Love it. Keep on loving those precious ones you treasure. In your own special way. What I’m asking is for a little patience and understanding when I seem less than enthusiastic. I’m all about loving on folks, but sometimes that looks a little different than what many might expect, I guess. I struggle with days and things that make people feel left out or like an “odd man out.” Fitting in is a good feeling, and that’s hard to do when you’re not a part of the celebration through no fault of your own.
All I’m asking is the next time one of these days rolls around, maybe take a look around and think about how someone else might be feeling. And be okay with wherever he or she is. Maybe, if you are so inclined, be a safe place for them to be, away from the hoopla and festivities. #bethefeather
Happy Everyday and love to all.