Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony this life
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind , I feel free now
But the airwaves are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now
For those not familiar, the lines above are from the song Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let those lyrics wash over me during long, contemplative walks. The song has a special significance this weekend. Where once deep sadness and anger took center stage on Mother’s Day weekend, the sensation I feel now is bittersweet. I expect it always will be the emotion du jour from here on out.
I’m in the Detroit area for a pit stop of sorts after business took me to New York earlier this week. I’m here for a short family visit and to celebrate my mother before heading back to California. So far I’ve had one customer service person wish me a “Happy Mother’s Day” and I expect it won’t be the last one. Where in the past such an innocuous greeting would have sent me into orbit, I’m now at a point where I’m just so whatever.
Where I once harbored resentment and envy for all women who could biologically reproduce — and never quite so furiously as this weekend — today I’m just resigned to the fact that while my body can do a lot of things really well, conception and delivery are just not on the list. Bittersweet in the physical sense.
It does bother me still that any women who can conceive gets held up as a “queen” for a day. That seems unfair somehow. The attention and adulation would be better focused on those women who truly have earned the right to be held up as model Madonnas (not the rocker type, but the real deal).
I’ve come to appreciate since working out my infertility-induced tortured emotions I can peacefully co-exist and respect mothers in a way I once could not. Yes, it’s bittersweet. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to warm up to the smug, self-important moms, those who seemingly hold up their children like some sort of breeding trophy. (They’re just too much fun to spoof, too.)
I would like to salute a set of bloggers and readers who have succeeded with pregnancy or have mothered children through adoption. Through them, I have a new appreciation for what Mother’s Day is supposed to signify and celebrate: women who truly represent the goodness of motherhood — those who sacrifice in significant ways to ensure the safety and well-being of their children, those who take their responsibilities to nurture, discipline, and raise good caring members of the next generation, those who don’t underestimate the miracle that brought their children into being in the first place.
I would also like to salute those mothers who have a kind and generous heart and look out for the well-being of their infertile sisters. To the mother in the Midwest referred to here in this post from last Mother’s Day, I still would like to know where you live so I can send you flowers.