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  • annedouglas8

Mother's Day

Today is Mother’s Day. Twenty-four years, a mother of four, yet I’m alone. I’ve travelled to a location that’s remote and unfamiliar. Somewhere I don’t want to be but my behavior requires it. The bedroom is foreign, I’m not at home. The sheets and comforter are strange to the touch and my husband is not by my side. Today is barren, I miss my family. In your absence I’m hollow. Are you together? I’m too far away to hear your voices. The one’s that make me laugh and cry, exhilarated and exhausted by accomplishments leading me beam with pride. Rewarding my heart because you’re mine. Don’t change. The joy you bestow on me over the years is the greatest Mother’s Day gift I’ll ever receive.

Today there will be no sound of tiny feet as they pitter-patter across the kitchen floor. Your feet have grown large and they’re absent as well. No scent of coffee brewing, dishes clanking or voices echoing through the rooms below. No discussion over which mug to use for my or the amount of cream to add. No stampede up the stairs, each of you struggling to be the first to arrive in my bedroom doorway. A fight to the finish. Who will secure the best spot on my bed? Arriving in mass, a chorus singing “Happy Mother’s Day,” at full volume. Today a foreign comforter warms my legs. It takes the place of a gaggle of large limbs, where your feet should touch mine. A reminder of how much you’ve grown. There will be no small gifts wrapped in colorful tissue, it’s outside sticky with Elmer’s glue. Inside a craft only a mother could love. No homemade card decorated by a tiny hand print in colorful paint, it’s date on the back. No last minute Hallmark card purchased at CVS the evening before. No packages whose contents are not a surprise, a present, I’ve hinted I just may enjoy. My blankets remain smooth and sheets clean. No dribbles of orange juice or spilled milk from an overturned cereal bowl, an argument brewing over who is to blame. No raucous conversation surrounding a Mother’s Day movie as I attempt to unearth one that will please the six of us. No ensuing frustration when I threaten, “we’re staying at home,” if you’re arguing will not stop. In the end we pile into my truck and make the short trek to the theater. Tonight there will be no dinner celebration at home and I will miss the camaraderie of the evening. Today I long for your lingering hugs and cheek pressed kisses. I never imagined a day might arrive, void of your presence. I draw on my Mother’s Days from the past, when my drinking did not interfere with our lives. I settle against my pillows and take solace you’re here in my heart.


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