Whoa! The other day I thought I was going to sail through this Mother's Day with nary a problem...my daughter took her life two years ago--I might as well put it out there rather than not, that's what happened--and my mother died eleven years ago on the first of May, and so, I stupidly, thought, well, Mother's Day and all it's friggen' reminders will just sail over me, just as Linda remarked about her own feelings in her comment to the last post, To Search or Not: That is the question for adoptees/birth mothers.
What's Mother's Day got to do with me this year? I am neither the daughter of a living mother or the mother of a living daughter, though I have been both. I'm cool, right?
Yesterday afternoon I got stomped on somewhat by an angry adoptee over at Facebook for posting a comment on the site You Know You're Adopted When...and that led to a group of adoptees who have read the blog remarking on what they do not like about BirthMother, First Mother Forum....including the name, because if we are first mothers, what does that make their other mothers? And that depressed me because I'm thinking, damn, I picked the name because I thought it would be easy to remember, and because, well, I'm not crazy about the appellation "birth mother," whether one word or two, but I will live with it because it's become part of the nomenclature. Hell, all of us, first/birth/natural/and adoptive: we all prefer just plain old "mother," no qualifiers.
But they do have a right to say, stay away, as there is also a Facebook page started that is You Know You are a First Mother When....It was the accusatory tone of the discourse, except for one of our regular readers who was sweet in her responses and saved my spirits, somewhat. But the incident put a black cloud over my feelings about continuing FirstMotherForum at all, and though you think these things do not bother you, there they are, gnawing at you, and then the Mother's Day !@#$. Ads on television. Ads in the New York Times this morning. Ads on the car radio--Shop at this local pharmacy, and we have a complete line of bath and grooming products for MOTHER'S DAY! Brunch special for MOM this coming Sunday! Et cetera, et cetera et cetera, as Yul Brunner so famously said as the King of Siam.
No matter who much I've tried to tune out the drumbeat for Mother's Day, apparently I'm not doing so well. This morning I snapped at the clerk at the cable outlet when I picked up a new cable box. I was nice to the technician who gave me a mammogram later that morning, but when she asked if anyone in my immediate family ever had breast cancer, I thought of all those adopted people who can't answer that question, and asked her how that goes. She said it was sad, that they had to be super vigilant about their health, and get a lot of checkups and tests. I told her that it was the legislators' fault that it was that way. Probably I should have added it was the fault of adoptive-parent legislators (at least in New York) such as convicted felon Joe Bruno, long-time open-records opponent Steve Saland, and always nasty adoptive uncle Danny O'Donnell, New York past and present legislators, but I didn't think of that fast enough. (To all adoptive parents reading this, don't go bananas here, I know many of you are for giving adoptees their original birth certificates, and if that's the case, will you please write your legislator in whatever state you are and let him know? Hell, you might as well write President Obama, while you're at it. You spent enough time and money getting your child, spend some time to give him or her the right to know their true and complete identities and be equal to the rest of us.)
And now...now I just am feeling the tears inside me bubbling up and over and out. In the past, since all restaurants are jammed with mothers and daughters and mothers and sons come Mother's Day, I have invited people over for brunch myself. I have one friend whose mother was truly wretched and abusive and is now in a funny farm, and she and her husband are childless, and having them over on Sunday has worked in the past, but I'm thinking I'm just not up to that today. Maybe I will be by tomorrow.
For now, this birth mother says "Mother's Day" feels like hell.--lorraine
PS: And then...the mail arrives and it's a card from my step-son., Evan...and I say to his Dad, the indubitable Tony, I hope it's funny. I slide it out of the envelope and I see a vase with pink hydrangea: not funny. Then I read the greeting: Myslac z mitoscia o Tobie...it's in Polish from my Scottish/English/Welsh American step-son. And neither he or I have any idea what it says....I laugh. The inside message: w Dniu Matki i zawsze. Pozostan w mojej pamiece, i bada szczexliwa przez caty rok.
And hand written in is Drogi Babci 'Raine, which I know means, Dear Grandma Raine...and it's signed: Fortunny Dzien od matka! Kochajacy...which I will have to have translated, but I know the root koch is love. (I am not doing the Polish justice because some of the letters have extras marks.)
Translation anyone? Maryanne?
Good job, Evan and Karen and Dylan!