"I've been letting my mind wonder at night. My thoughts should have a curfew." Am Kidd

Monday, May 3, 2010

Special dates

They are there, already marked and highlighted on the calendars we buy, Presidents Day, Secretary’s Day, Groundhog Day, etc. Then come the more personal ones, the ones everyone ought to observe and celebrate. Television commercials provide examples of these special dates: healthy happy children eagerly awaiting Santa’s visit, beautiful slender girls receiving huge diamond rings from tall dark and handsome men, elegant Halloween parties in which everyone looks smashing no matter what costume they’re wearing. The flashing of perfect white teeth, beautiful shiny hair, well, you get the picture.

The point is, all this perfection sort of ruins the enjoyment of special dates. Let’s face it, not everyone is healthy, not everyone is beautiful, not everyone has perfect teeth, not everyone looks good wearing a hat! Lately I hear more and more comments such as “I’m not looking forward this (whatever) holiday”, “I’m not ready”, “I don’t feel like I used to.” Mind you, these are nice people who are usually happy and have sunny dispositions. So, what is it about the lack of “spirit” when it comes to special dates? I blame it on the way we are expected to act and feel. We are stifled by the pressure and the many rules. Deep inside mostly everyone strives to celebrate emulating that perfect television image while at the same time being painfully aware this cannot always be.

Mother’s Day is approaching (for those of us living in the USA) and I find that as a daughter I, too , would love to be able to celebrate “television style” but the truth is, I have never felt close to my mother, I always found it difficult to get her a card (I could not relate to words such as “thank you for always being supportive” I mean, she never was!) Back when we were younger, my parents and I, we went through the motions and rituals but I never felt the way I knew I should have felt, the way I heard my friends talk about, the way I wished it could have been. Time went by, I became a mother myself and the gap I felt became wider and deeper. I noticed what I did for my children, and it was a vivid reminder of what she never did for me.

I don’t want to be unfair, my mother was not “mean” she was just cold, she was demanding, stern, domineering. For those of you who have heard of Margaret Thatcher (the Iron Lady), well, there’s my mother’s image. Always dressed properly with a stiff upper lip. Her favorite word was NO.

I suppose I was a big disappointment for her, what with my free spirit, Bohemian inclinations, and wishes to travel aboard a gypsy caravan. I did obey her rules but it was never enough, there was always something missing.

My mother is 86 years old, she has Alzheimer and lives in a nursing home. She is still the Iron Lady and her caretakers fill my ears with stories about “how difficult she is” I nod and thank them for their patience. I know what they mean!

I have come to accept that I will never experience what it is to really love my mother. I don’t mean the lukewarm affection I’ve sustained through the years, I mean that special love, the kind that makes you teary eyed and choke in mid sentence.

No, as a daughter, this Mother's Day will surely not be perfect (according to "television guidelines") however, my children are my cloud's silver lining, because of them and their love I can celebrate this coming special date joyfully, and definetely my way.

Photo by Bing Images


  1. I hear you.

    Love to you! I have so much respect for the mothers who break the cycle of generational pain!

    Love, Katy xo

  2. What a beautiful post and hit so close to home. Thank you.

  3. Hi Alina..thanks for sharing your journey..hugs and much love to you! I also feel the empowering kind of love shining through you so strongly for your own children..and that is awe-inspiring..and they are lucky to have you! Take comfort in the blessings of eachother..your wonderful circle..and being Awake enough in this life to be that powerful bond of Love that you are..even though you may not have receievd it..know you are so loved...and your love outshines even the dark times..that is how powerful it is.

    Yes tv land is often that unreal picture..and life is not always so picture perfect. YOur words are wise and full of insight..always meaningful..you are a strong spirit..courageous and loving...and this journey you have walked all on your own (and have come through) is powerful.....you have a beautiful heart! Shine On!!

  4. My wife and I often talk about the perfect Christmas season depicted in the media. The same is extended to the other holidays as you discuss so well including m(M)other's day. Holidays should be celebrated with a keen understanding of life's imperfections.

  5. In spite of the fact that my English is not very good I can understand the essence of your texts and the sensibility that inspires them. I am charmed with the photos.
    Thak you for passing my apartment !
    Un saludo desde España.

  6. Thank you for being so candid in this post Alina - it must indeed be difficult for you with your mother ... but you have broken that cycle with your own children. Forget what television expects and enjoy the day in your own special way - you are such a thoughtful free-spirit Alina and that will absolutely shine through.

    Talking of holidays etc, I think the Christmas season is a perfect example of 'over-egging the pudding'. It should be such a simple celebration and yet has turned into this completely mad, stressed-out holiday that people dread! It's so crazy!

    We had our Mother's Day back in March. Enjoy the day when it arrives for you.


  7. well Alina, thank goodness there is someone else who has 'issues' with a mother! mine was never (and still isnt) supportive of anything I do..... as you say we went through the motions on holidays etc but it was so stressful. Luckily I have broken that cycle and am blessed with a good/great relationship with my son. It has taken a long time to feel good about myself but I have got there. Thanks for sharing. We love you! Ciao

  8. This resonates with me too. I was a free spirit, given to drama and excitement, restless and creative. The exact opposite of my Mum and I got subtle dissaproval all my life. I'm relieved I had a son, we get one great. My recipe for succeess, is to greet his very wild idea and far fetched dream with enthusiasma and lavish upon him the praise and support that I never had. They say we re-parent ourselves through our children, how right they are!

  9. Alina, thankyou for your honesty in sharing this...I can somewhat relate - my family is definitely not your "Hallmark" family, but it is what it is, and has made me who I am today. We are all unique individuals, and part of me believes we are 'placed' with parents who have much to teach us...hmmm, maybe. Clearly you have become a loving mother in spite of, or perhaps because of who your mother was...I wish you a most wonderful Mother's Day x

  10. I remember how I dreaded mothers day after my first pregnancy miscarried. My Mum instituted a special "ladies day" with her friends so those who didn't celebrate mothers could celebrate each other.

  11. I appreciate each word, each comment, each thought that's been left here by each one of you, my friends. Special gifts to treasure and hold on to, thank you!

  12. Sometimes we take our childhood and learn from it WHAT we don't want to do or WHO we don't want to be. I hope you have a most wonderful weekend with your children ~ your 'silver lining'.

    You are a beautiful person sweet Alina!

    xo Catherine

  13. Stop by Moontides. There is something for you over there.

  14. Yes Catherine, you're right. We do learn from our childhood and hopefully avoid making the mistakes and focus instead on the positive lessons. Thank you xx

    Mary, thank you! I am grateful and honored you have thought of me xx

  15. Hola Alina !!!
    Que hermosas fotografías has elegido para ilustrar tus textos, me encantaron. Encuentro en tu blog una delicadeza muy especial ... se debe parecer a ti.
    Un gran abrazo


Albert Schweitzer said "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit" I thank you all!