Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.

I am tempted to write that it’s one of the hardest days of the year. And it is. But then so are the five days that are their birthdays. And Christmas. And Halloween.

As are the 357 other calendar days sprinkled in between.

Last year, in spite of our being broken up, he greeted me with flowers, took me out to eat, and spent the day with me.

You being alone on Mother’s Day is sad, he had said.

Last night, I asked if he could be patient with me this weekend. It is Mother’s Day weekend, I explained, and despite being a mom, I’ll get no cards, no handmade gifts, nor will I get to see my kids. I am responsible for my feelings and actions, I said, but as my partner, I’m asking for patience. I’m not going to do this weekend perfectly.

And then his daughter called at 3:42 am to tell him she was in the hospital and needed an appendectomy. And we collected his other four kids to bring them to our home. And took them to dinner. And bought extra food. And are helping his daughter figure out what to get her mom for Mother’s Day.

Sometimes their presence reminds me of my kids’ absence. And I feel it more than ever. Right. Now.

I’m sunk into a hot bath, with tears gently rolling down my face. I am triggered. I feel the grief stricken screams welling in my chest.

And he seems oblivious. And if he is, it may be because I’m stuffing it. I don’t want to be blamed for insensitivity or inflexibility. He does not understand my grief. He spends every Father’s Day with them, and now Mother’s Day as well.

I am consumed by jealousy. I am consumed by the pain. I am consumed by the guilt and shame of actions that have put me in this tub, in this moment–and not with them.

But there’s tomorrow. Tomorrow, an application is due for a position in Oregon. In a town two hours away from them.

If I cannot spend this Mother’s Day with them, perhaps I can make this the last one separated from them.

God, help me.

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