Sunday, May 11, 2014

If it's not one thing, it's your mother...

Today. Was. Awesome. 

If you take out the wake for my best friend's dad, that is. Even that wasn't so bad except that someone had to die to have it. (Damn it. There really is no way to make a funeral fun. Ya'all better figure that stuff out before I die, because I want my funeral to be a party.)

Woke up this morning to a snuggly daughter who ran out to let my husband know that I was conscious and ready for breakfast. He then promptly dispatched himself to Starbucks, bringing me coffee and pastries in bed. We had a leisurely morning there: three humans and two cats, each doing whatever the hell we wanted. I got to catch up on some blog reading and sip my mocha, surrounded by the people and creatures I love the most in this whole entire world. 

Before Mass, we hit the St. Clement art show, to see Zoe's work over the course of this year. I love her art. It is so dear to me, and it practically makes me cry. She worked in a variety of media, but my favorite piece is her chalice, which she describes as "short and fat with a hole in it." She's totally right, but the hole isn't in the bowl part so it's completely useful as a chalice AND as a place to stash secret stuff. (Another host? A teeny tiny rosary? Candy? Money for the parking meter? Weed?) It's adorable, and she made it, and I love her. I mean it. And her. Whatever.

Then we had Mass, where at the end I got to stand up with all the other mothers for the Mother's Day Blessing, which is important to me because there was one year I sat there in tears during the blessing and a couple more where I just had to skip that Mass altogether and lay in bed, crying. For eight years now, I've gotten to stand up. I cherish it, but I also wonder how many women are sitting around me, barely holding back tears, or hiding in their beds because it's easier than coming to church and being reminded that you're still not a mother. I ache for them, and I share my blessings with them.

Then we went to a buffet where I stuffed myself silly, because nothing says "I'm celebrating being a mom" than pigging out so much that your stomach distends and you look pregnant all over again.

Tonight was the wake for Big Lee. I already wrote how awesome he was so I'll stick to the details of the wake instead of eulogizing him yet again. There was a large crowd there, and I was happy to see that my parents came to pay their respects. They loved Big Lee, especially Fred, and I know they recognize the hole left in the world because of his death. Stef and her mom were holding up well, as shell-shocked loved ones always do during wakes. They stood by the casket as people shuffled by, expressing what Big Lee meant to them and how sorry they were for their loss. At 7 p.m., Lee's Elk brethren did a service with involved 11 gongs to symbolize their time of respect (?) and various club officers testifying to his brotherhood, his patriotism, and other fine qualities. The Elks lined the sides of the room and wrapped around the back. We could tell the officers by the Star Trek Klingon necklaces.

About halfway through the service it struck me that there were two distinct groups there to pay their  respects. The Elks, of course, and then the folks we were sitting with: the lesbian contingent, most of whom flew in from Ann Arbor, Michigan. So we had 70+ year-old WASPS mixing (not very much, mind you) with 40-50 year-old lesbians. And us. M asked, "Ummm. Are you her only straight friend?" I grinned. "The only one in Missouri! I think there's another straight Amy in Atlanta?" I'm cool with being Stef's token straight friend. She serves as my token lesbian friend, so I figure we're even. When you're friends since 7th grade, there's a lot more embarrassing shit to worry about than someone's sexuality. (Junior High aerobics class, for one, and mid-eighties eyeglass frames.)

I was so happy to see that these friends she cares so much about all came in to be there for her when she needed them. And it was good to catch up with the ones we knew, most of them we not only know, but had some good times in Ann Arbor with that may or may not have involved alcohol and jarts.

Anyway, it was, overall, an excellent day. I got to read, and write, and spend time with people I love. I got to ride in my Corvette and eat good food. I said goodbye to an old friend, and celebrate how special he was.

Posts I made on Facebook (for those of my readers not on Facebook):

This morning, after seeing all my friends compliment each other and their mothers, and knowing that I have at least one friend hurting from motherlessness and remembering what that felt like, and also that I have friends who have chosen to remain childless and still give just as much as all the mothers I know and deserve to be recognized:
Here's to all the kickass women in the world, because even if society hasn't handed you the title "Mother," you do, indeed mother every single day. Whether it's nurturing a hurting friend or caring for an aging parent or tending a sick spouse or making your furbabies MOTHER. The world needs mothers. ALL kinds. Happy Mother's Day to traditional moms and nontraditional moms and moms in waiting. You all are incredible.

Then, tonight after reading a plethora of posts by husbands who are either sucking up to their wives or were forced at knifepoint to write glowing tributes just so the bitch'll get off my back already:
My husband isn't active on Facebook, but if he was I'm sure he would have written, "My wife is the most awesome mom in the entire world, and not just because she does all this shit around the house and keeps our family life running like a well-oiled machine, but also because she looks like a freakin' supermodel while she does it. You are a goddess, and you kick all the other mothers' asses." Totally. That is SO him.

HMD, friends.


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