My mother and I had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday. We spent the day together, went shopping, had a nice dinner, and I gave her the 3-month membership I bought her to LA fitness so she could use the pool for the summer. She has always loved the water and her arthritis and diabetes affect her knees and feet to a point where she has trouble performing basic tasks, let alone working out. So the pool allows her to stay active and get out of the house.
At dinner, I was telling her about a friend who has 2 small children and whose husband neglected to do something for her on Mother’s Day. My mom got angry for her. “It’s the husband’s job to take care of Mother’s Day while the children are young!,” she would’ve said if her English were better. Then she told me about how dad always came through for her on Mother’s Day, no matter how old I got.
“One Mother’s Day, when we were still living in California,” she said, “you were maybe 4 years old and your dad was working as a janitor at a local theater. He came home after a long shift and he literally opened the door to the apartment, looked in, said hello, and then walked right back out. I was so confused! ‘What’s going on?,’ I asked myself. I bet he has a little harlot on the side!!”
Like I said before, my mother’s English isn’t this good, so this is how she would’ve told it if she were fluent. At this point in her life, she’s lived half her life in Afghanistan and half in America. Not only is her English broken, but so is her Persian! It’s cute. But it makes communication tricky. Anyway, on with the story…
“So I grabbed you and we followed your dad to see where he was going. We didn’t have a car then, so we walked everywhere. We walked down the street, making sure your father didn’t see us behind him. We walked for a couple minutes when I realized that he was walking to the local grocery store. ‘Oh, maybe he just went to pickup some food!’
I felt silly and decided we had to go straight back home to make sure I got back before him. Ten minutes after we got home, he came back. He walks in the door and I saw what he went to the grocery store for: he had a bouquet of flowers in his hand for me! He must have forgotten it was Mother’s Day until the last minute and he wanted to make sure I had a gift!”
She told this story with the most beautiful smile on her face. She looked radiant. And it is always wonderful to hear her happy memories of her life with my father. We both miss him dearly.
My dad always told me that he loved me. But he always made sure to remind me that my mother loved me more.
When my father passed away, I dove into a severe depression, which I’m still struggling to crawl my way out of. My world went spiraling out of control and I had no idea how to stop it. I tried seeing a counselor, I tried anti-depressants. I moved away from my closest friends to be with my mother so that I could help support her. However, I lost my own support system in the process. I would’ve liked to have kept training jiu jitsu. The exercise and the support of teammates would’ve made a world of difference, I’m sure. But I didn’t have a job and jiu jitsu is an expensive lover.
I’ve also been struggling with what to do with my blog. I like being creative and writing can be a good form of therapy. So, for the time-being, that’s what this blog will morph into. My personal therapy session. But rather than bore you with my feelings and what happened to me today, I’m going to share stories my father told me and lessons I learned from him. He was my favorite teacher.
For those of you lucky enough to never have suffered a bout of depression, I’m going to provide you a link to a wonderful blog post about what depression is like. For me personally, some of the things it describes happened in another order, but that’s not really the point. This is quite clever and completely worth the time to check out: Hyperbole and a Half