Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day: Senior Year

Mother's Day, growing up, was not a big deal. We might make my mom a card (or not), and have dinner with one or both sets of grandparents.

Because I have a high school senior now, I find myself flashing back to my senior year. What was it like for me, applying to college? Did I have senioritis? Who were my friends? Yesterday, I found myself thinking about Mother's Day of my senior year.

The weekend of Mother's Day during my senior year, I was at a youth group weekend convention. As I was a senior, this was my last one. They were always a lot of fun, and this one was no exception. It followed the usual pattern--lots of activities during the day, and almost no sleep at all on Friday or Saturday nights. By the time I would get home Sunday afternoon, I would be extremely bleary-eyed. As I was not a napper, I would stay awake Sunday until bedtime, and then go to sleep. In the morning, I would not be at all caught up on my sleep, and would argue with my parents about going to school. They always won. This, I felt, was truly unfair, as many of my other youth group friends were allowed to skip school on those Mondays.
This time, I had determined, was going to be different. This time, I would stay home. I was a senior, damn it!
Monday morning my mom came to wake me up. I was sluggish. She came back again.
"No," I said, "I'm not going."
She sat down in the rocking chair in my room.
"Yes, you are." And then she said, "Aunt N. died last night. You're going to school today because the funeral will be Tuesday and you will miss school tomorrow."
My plans were foiled, but her words woke me up right away.
Aunt N.--my mother's first cousin and best friend--had been sick with breast cancer for quite a while. But I think I didn't really believe she would die, probably because Aunt N. had three kids, all fairly close in age to us.

I went to school that day.
Thirty years ago Monday.
My cousin says, "My mom made sure we would never forget Mother's Day."

May your Mother's Day be sweeter, and less bitter.

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