I wrote this the other day while stuck at the airport. It’s not as pertinent as it if I published it on Sunday night, but resonates with me just the same. Be grateful you didn’t end your weekend with a 5-hour delay; but I brushed it off, thanks to Netflix!
Sunday afternoon and I’m stuck at BWI airport for the next five hours as my flight is delayed. It was a soggy weekend in Baltimore and Annapolis for a family gathering of cousins and my siblings. Early on the trip took a sour turn as my husband couldn’t even board the flight. He was moaning in pain when I left him on the bathroom floor at 4 am to get our 6.20 am flight. A stomach virus was his to endure for the next 24 hours.
I was single amongst the family couples this weekend, which wasn’t all bad. I was able to spend time with my siblings and cousins that all reside along the eastern seaboard. These are cousins I grew up with and played tag with and got to see at yearly Christmas gatherings and summer vacations. We are all grown now with kids and jobs and lives of our own. These visits don’t happen but every few years and what I’ve come to realize in my last few years of ups and downs is that everybody has their stuff. We all know what the stuff is. The pain, the loss, the betrayals, and the sadness that comes from life’s moments of death, divorce, job loss, financial loss, disease prognosis’ and family squabbles – we all own a piece of some, if not all.
This weekend we showed up and were present with each other regardless of our stuff and just enjoy the moments and conversations that were had. We ate, drank and shared our stories, good and bad. This weekend also just happened to fall on my Sober Birthday and I was able to celebrate 15 years of being clean and sober. I went to a meeting where I didn’t know anybody, but I knew everybody. They welcomed me, they congratulated me and they gave me a token. It was just like being in my hometown Fellowship. Being part of AA gives me so many feels – mainly being the love and gratitude I have for my sobriety and for the people that have been there to support it. Was I bummed my husband couldn’t make the trip? Of course, but a few years ago I started switching my perspective so I wasn’t sitting in my self-pity, a trait that to me is so unattractive. I now look for the positives in everything and not focus on what I didn’t get and what didn’t go my way and just move forward. My life has been so much more at peace since I’ve done that. This is not to say I’m not disappointed or get angry because I still do. Probably more frequently than most. But it’s my choice today and how I choose to manage my emotions. My emotional sobriety. Do I want to have peace and accept what is or to I need to be right and have my loud voice be heard? For me, it’s not worth the energy.
So here I sit at the airport bar having some crab chowder and viewing and hearing all the Mother’s Day celebrations that have engulfed everywhere I look today. The past few days strangers, store clerks, and food servers have all been saying Happy Mother’s Day to me. A couple of days ago my cousin said something that stuck with me although it may be considered a tad sarcastic; it’s honest. She responded to a store clerk and said, “I’m not a mother nor do I have one”. She too lost her mother a few years ago. I like to block out Mother’s Day entirely. I am ok to embrace it for others, but don’t want any part of it. I guess that’s what happens when you lose your Mom. On this day, it always stings a little more and what I wouldn’t give to have one more day where I could have called my Mom for the obligatory 15-minute phone call, send her flowers and be done with the yearly Mother’s Day tradition. I have reminders of my Mom all year long, I don’t need Mother’s Day to highlight that I don’t have one. I get to have those cherished memories of her calling me on May 11 to wish me a Happy Sober Birthday – that’s a good Mother’s day to me.