When Mother’s Day Hurts….

8 05 2011

I started writing this a year ago on Mother’s Day.  I was so sad, so missing my mother, Jo Crabtree, who passed away in June 2006 after a short battle with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer.  She was diagnosed in January 2006 and left this world on June 30, 2006.  I miss her every. single. day.  Last year when I started writing this I was reduced to a puddle of tears, so bad that I just couldn’t write any more.  But since my mom always encouraged me to write, I felt it fitting to try and finish it this year.

The title I really wanted to use was “When Mother’s Day SUCKS”, but out of respect for my Mom, I didn’t use the work “suck”.  She would have found the phrase vulgar and colloquial; categorizing it with words & phrases like ‘crap’ and ‘pissed off’.  She would say using these words would make me lazy, and she was right.

My mom on the ocean, her all-time favorite place!

My Mom and I were not best friends – in fact we were very different; I am an extrovert, I love crowds, people, going to concerts. loud music and watching TV.  She preferred quiet, small gatherings of friends, gardening and reading.  She loved to read.  Books were her passion.  As an adult she went back to college, getting her Master’s in Library Science from Kent State.  We were all very proud of her.  She worked as a children’s librarian at the Berea branch of the Cuyahoga County Library for 20 years.  She helped get the union into the library for the workers. (I can guarantee you she is fighting against Ohio Senate Bill 5 from up in Heaven!)

Even after my mom retired from the library, she continued her work with books and volunteered to read to kindergarten students at Anton Grdina Elementary School (a Cleveland inner-city school located near E77th & Kinsman, a rather tough neighborhood).  She would visit once a week, reading all day to classes.  She would always bring props to engage the kids, sometimes puppets or stuffed animals.  As you can imagine, the kids loved her.  Many of them would remember her as they continued on in their studies; it wasn’t uncommon for a 4th grader to tell an acting-up kindergarten student to “behave for Mrs. Crabtree, she’s nice!”

And so why, with all these nice things she did, why did SHE have to die from cancer at age 70?  She took care of herself, ate right, rarely drank, didn’t smoke and took care of everyone around her.  There are assholes (sorry mom) still walking the planet but my mom is dead.  It’s just not fair.

I miss her most on Mother’s Day.  Her birthday was April 15th (sorry, that just gets obscured by taxes) and I don’t really see the point in honoring the day she died (though I’ll never for get it), so Mother’s Day is the day that really makes me think of her.

My mom and I were not without our disagreements and fights, like most mother-daughter relationships. but I would give anything to have another day with her – I want to tell her all kinds of silly everyday things, like how I discovered I love arugula and that I’m so crazy about twitter (BTW, I have NO doubt my mom would have been on Facebook, and I think she would have had her own blog as well).  Yes, I know I have the option to “tell” her – to have my quiet time when I talk to her, but it’s not the same as if she was really here.  I just hope she knows how much I loved her.

If your Mom is still alive, take the time today to let her know you really love her.  Then take a random day and do the same thing – just out of the blue – take her to dinner, or a ball game, a play, a concert, whatever…. but do it soon, because the when the day comes that she’s no longer around, I can guarantee you’ll have wished you did.  You only ever have one mom.  And that makes her forever special.  I love you and miss you mommy…..