A Hug For Mother’s Day

I was dropping off Emmy in the three year old room for MOPS when one of the mentor moms came up to me. “Oh,” she said as she enveloped me in a big mama bear hug, “I’ve been thinking about you this week!”

It was the week before Mother’s Day, and she had seen some Mother’s Day cards. Looking at them, she thought about how she hasn’t needed to buy a Mother’s Day card for several years now, and it still was hard. She thought about me losing my mom just a year and a half ago.

Oh, how I needed that hug! I needed that hug more than I even knew.

That Friday, Lily woke up with a fever. As the morning wore on, her temperature slowly went higher even after I gave her some Tylenol. She lay limply on the couch, not wanting to move. She wasn’t eating or drinking much. As I carried her from the TV room to the living room she told me she didn’t feel well, and then promptly threw up. It was barely anything to clean up since her stomach was empty, but I put a big bowl by her place on the couch and called the doctor.

Both Lily and her sister had had strep throat twice in April, so her doctor and I were relieved when the strep test was negative. I was to treat her symptoms at home and call if she got worse.

Saturday, Lily continued to have a fever and curled up in her favorite chair. Unused to seeing our vibrant child so inactive, Ed decided to entertain her. He danced and sang around the room, making us all laugh, even Lily. And then…he stepped back, landed on one foot right on the throw-up bowl (empty of contents) and fell hard. His ankle swelled instantly.

Fortunately, Ed’s sister happened to call a few minutes later, and I asked her to take Ed to the immediate care center by us. In one short hour he was home, no broken bones but a bad sprain.

We decided to cancel Mother’s Day.

Okay, that’s not really true. We just canceled the reservations at the fancy brunch we had planned on going to. I still took Emmy to church and sang in the choir that morning, ordering Lily (still feverish) and Ed to rest. The youth group gave all mothers a beautiful rose, and by the time Emmy and I got home, Lily was feeling better. So we went off for a low-key Mother’s Day lunch at Steak ‘n Shake.

That quick lunch wore out Lily, and her fever came back that afternoon. She rested, and I cried. I worried about Ed’s ankle, which kept him off his feet for most of the day. I wanted to call my mom.

But she is gone.

Instead, I got a phone call from my sister, who was also missing Mom.

By the end of the day, I was just grateful for all my blessings. Lily was feeling better (I kept her home from school for one more day; her fever went away and she is back to normal) and Ed’s ankle was not broken.

My thoughts went to the mentor mom who gave me a hug, who was also missing her mom on this day. I was grateful for that simple hug; grateful that someone else remembered that Mother’s Day would be difficult.

Simple BPM
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The Girdle

I am clearing out my sock drawer. Throwing out sock with holes in the heels, made by my rough skin rubbing against the fabric. Throwing out the ugly socks that I had no intentions of wearing. How did they end up in my sock drawer, anyway? I reach into the drawer, looking for something else to discard, and I pull out a cream-colored garment.

Holding it up, I automatically stretch it between my hands. I hear the elastic crinkle and pop as it stretches out and stays out. All the elasticity it once had disappeared over the years it was in my sock drawer.

I am holding up the girdle I wore eight years ago on my wedding day.

Girdles seem so outdated. I suppose they are no longer called “girdles,” but rather “shape smoothers” or something like that. No matter what they call it, it’s still a girdle.

The year I was to be married, I felt outdated as well. I felt like an old bride, getting married at the age of 33. Shopping for wedding dresses was extremely difficult; I had had a mastectomy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27. That meant I didn’t have cleavage to show. My scar extends under my arm, where the surgeon removed lymph nodes. I have a nice bulge of fat by that scar. A sleeveless wedding dress was also out of the question.

Have you ever shopped for wedding dresses? Finding one with my specifications seemed like it would be impossible. I drove from wedding shop to wedding shop, looking at plunging neckline after plunging neckline. My budget was also slim, and so spending a lot of money on a custom-made dress was out of the question.

Not only that, but taking an estrogen-reducing medication for five years had caused me to gain weight. I was very self-conscious about that bulge around my middle.

Watching younger, skinnier women trying on skimpy, sexy wedding dresses made me feel old. Made me feel as old and stretched out as a piece of old, worn-out elastic.

But then, I found the dress. The dress I would wear. And it would do.

The day of my wedding came. As I gazed at my husband-to-be, waiting for me at end of the aisle, I could feel the love radiating from him. All those outdated feelings melted away. He only had eyes for me.

He still does.

This was my response for this week’s prompt at The Red Dress Club.

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