A Mother Day’s Message

Lisbon, Portugal

I’ve never been one to celebrate what I call Hallmark Card holidays, i.e., money producing scams concocted by our Capitalist non-tax-paying overlords to cash in on sentimentality.

“Shit, I forgot it was tomorrow’s First Ex-spouse Day!  I better overnight Brandi a comical tee shirt.”

Once my late wife Judy Birdsong became a mother and the boys were old enough, a mock tradition arose in which we designated Mother’s as a day when Judy would work extra hard to make us happy.

Mother’s Day would begin with undesired sex, followed by her producing a delectable brunch of eggs benedict, cheese grits, buttered toast.

Don’t get me wrong, it was tongue-in-cheek; I cleaned up the kitchen mess, washed, and put up dishes. However, at some point we quit exchanging gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Day.  Late in both my mother’s and Judy’s life, we took MeMaw to a jazz alfresco Mother’s Day brunch underneath majestic live oaks in a little place in Summerville.  So we did end up celebrating in a way.

On Mother Day’s Eve two years ago, Judy announced it’s time “to get this show [of dying] on the road,” and, sure enough, at four something o’clock the next day she was gone.

I am very grateful for a few things: she walked to her death bed was never incontinent and gave up the ghost peacefully with her eyes closed.  She was absolutely unafraid to die, which helped the boys and me enormously.

Judy was a stellar mother: loving, non-nagging, even-tempered, sanely un-overprotective, considerate.  Her dying on Mother’s Day has managed to make the day a hallmark in the lives of Harrison, Ned, and me.

Now Mother’s Day is our day to celebrate her life.  It’s real now.

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