The Fringes

11 May

Today is the day set aside to recognize motherhood.  Mother’s Day, as it is so named.  As a mother in mourning I think most of my loved ones expected this day to be a hard one for me.  As it turns out, it is no more difficult than the everyday I make it through my sorrow and move onto the next.  As it turns out this day is most difficult for my daughter, the sister to my fallen son.  This is the day the two of them, TOGETHER, would plan and execute the details of ensuring I was without doubt of their devotion and honor.  I must say, they were quite good at it…my daughter still is.

But if the sorrow has hit anyone more than the other, today is her day.  Her brother, her partner in all things familial is missing from her equation and, for her, there is no way to avoid his absence this day.

For me–no matter where my children are I am still a mother.  Whether I can be with them or not, on this particular day, I am still a mother.  And in being a mother, my society honors me–just look at all the store sales happening this weekend in honor of this day.  Granted, being showered with blessings from my own children is not comparable on the same scale as saving a few bucks–it trumps the monetary gain tremendously!  But point being, there are no guarantees of being with ones children on this particular day and yet as a mother I still have opportunity to be acknowledged.  Not so for the sister, left hanging out on the fringes because the obvious position of the mourning mother obfuscates the internal bleeding of the sibling.  Of course I am receiving text messages, emails and calls reflecting supportive thoughts for me on this day, but she is not.

And now she is left to navigate the sentimentality of maternal love while being barraged with sorrow.  Her quandary’s resemble something like this:  Does she show her mother her angst and risk causing burden to her on what she is accustomed to believing is a “special day for her mom?”  How is she to push through the vacancy left by her dearly departed when this day keeps shoving her loss in every step of her path?

To add insult to injury, the death of our beloved Cole will make it’s first anniversary mark this coming week.  May 17, 2013 we received the dreaded news.

Today my husband is somewhat on the fringes as well.  He has lost his mom a few years ago and his grandmother shortly afterward, both of whom were two of his biggest fans.  He is quite without a large portion of his extended family, and yet today he is supposed to do two things, honor his own mother and honor his wife, the mother of his children.  Now he, too, is stuck with a day that serves as a great reminder to the many losses he is suffering.

My sister, Auntie to my children, is also the overlooked mourner.  The sufferer on the fringe who sits in the shadow of her sisters pain.

This is a tough day, to be sure.  But today, as a mother, I honor those who are not privileged to have a day which recognizes them in the manner that Mother’s Day recognizes me–in my mothering and in my loss.  My heart goes out to you, the sister, the aunt, the grandmother, the friend, the husband–my soul loves you.

Today, with this post, I honor Esther Bent, Brian Bent and Leah Smith–

Happy Mother’s Day!

7 Responses to “The Fringes”

  1. mfincham111 May 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    I feel slighted. Am I always invisible? Cole was my first grandson and I miss him everyday. He watches me in two of the rooms in my house. And I was thinking today of what I will do on May 17th as a fitting remembrance to honor who he always was.

    I do feel sad for Esther too. I remember being a gofer for two of the planned gifts that she and Cole were planning for you. Her FaceBook comment about the coming week says it all.

  2. ocounty1 May 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    What a beautiful soul you have Rivka – so wonderfully reflected in both Cole and Esther. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you, Brian, Esther (and Leah too!) on May 17th; we will never forget Cole. Love, the Ohlunds

  3. Adrienne Mannis May 11, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    We were honored to see Leah yesterday, if only briefly. She looks great and I hear she is sharing (?) her daughter with the Bents this summer. Rifka, Esther and Brian, you are in my love and prayers always. I was, in fact, home with my husband who has a bad cold, all day – felt the love of the children that I was lucky enough to see and be honored by yesterday. Yes, parents deserve to be honored, but a lot of these holidays are Hallmark holidays in my mind. Love you always, MA

    • Rivka And Her Wit May 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

      True, though Valentine’s Day is a personal favorite of mine–Bent style of course!

  4. Leah Smith May 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Not nice

    Sent from my iPhone


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