Saturday, May 1, 2010

Special Friends Day

Friday would have been my Dad's 80th birthday. It was weird to think about as April neared an end, as that's usually the time when I start rooting around for a good book, movie, or cd to send him. Unlike a lot of people, Dad would actually read or watch or listen to whatever I gave him. I talked to my mom last week as she was tearfully trying to decide what to do on his birthday and it struck me how hard holidays are when, no matter how mundane, the rest of the world is celebrating them whether you are or not. With the hoopla that has grown (thanks to Hallmark) with every holiday, it seems that there are monthly reminders of loss. As I reflected with relief on her getting through the birthday, suddenly I realized Fathers' Day would be right around the corner.

My across the street neighbor died pretty suddenly about 3 months ago. Although I never really knew her all that well, I've had the good fortune of recently getting to know one of her daughters. At 19, she's just two years younger than my oldest. No matter how independent my daughter is, I can't begin to imagine her devastation if she were to lose me. Tonight T is going to her boyfriend's prom. Her next-door-neighbor took her shopping for her dress and is going to be there to take photos. So that's good. But next week is Mother's Day. Now I've never been a big fan of Mother's Day, as my husband's favorite line is "But you're not my mother..." as he puts his clubs in the car. And although I cherish the burnt toast and cheerios that my kids have delivered to my bed over the years...the cold coffee just doesn't do it for me. To be perfectly honest, my idea of the perfect Mother's Day is having the kids and hubby disappear for several hours so I can take a brief break from motherhood. I'm not positive, but I think there's a majority of moms who might relish the same mode of celebration...

It was a Friday in April fifteen years ago that one of my dearest friends, the recently separated mother of two beautiful little boys, laid the legal paperwork out on the kitchen counter, scissored her image out of every photograph, told me she was going to Boston to visit a girlfriend, closed the garage door, and turned on her Volvo. It was Palm Sunday when Joe pulled into the driveway with the kids strapped in their car seats and opened the garage to get their bikes. I will never forget that week. And of course, neither will they.

Mother's Day dawned barely a month later... preceded by a week of mom-centered crafts and crayoning of cards at our kids' preschool. How horrific for those boys and the legions of other kids who are without a mom.

When a father of three from our school in Denver was killed in a car crash, the school had the forethought to re-imagine and rename their annual "Mothers Day" and "Fathers Day" events to "Parents and Special Friends Day". Maybe we should take a page from their book. If DayLight Savings Time can be changed, why can't Mothers and Fathers Day?

I have several friends who if asked about their families will declare "my friends are my family". Whether you are separated from your family by death, divorce, or dysfunction, that doesn't mean you aren't unconditionally loved by someone or lots of someones. How 'bout we just have a Friends' Day? Then everyone can celebrate.
Speaking of friends.......
MidChix Friending Contest
Beginning June 1st, the chick who has the most friends register and fill out their profile (this is how they let us know they heard about MidChix from you) and the chick with the most total friends as of September 1st 2010
$250 Visa gift card!
and join the fun at
I'm Linking


  1. Interesting idea..I am always at a loss when people ask me about what I'm doing for Father's Day...he's been dead for 25 years...
    and my mother is in another country...sounds like a pragmatic and sensitive thing to do...

  2. I haven't lost many people in my life. I was very close to my grandparents and thought how sad Christmas would be the first year they were gone. My mom had already thought of this. For years she wrapped a little something she had saved from their house and gave it to each of us kids for Christmas. It didn't seem quite so bad when there was a little gift under the tree!!

    Great post Gretchen! I love your blog! Just found it yesterday.

  3. Great post. I am glad I found your blog! Thanks for linking up to sWEet cHarLi!!

  4. Hi there. I'm following you. I'm way behind on Friday Follow. Just stopping by to say hi.

    Hope you had a great weekend!