May 9, 2010

May 9, 2010
Happy Mother's Day

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and Mother's Day! So first of all, I would like to wish my Mom and all the mothers reading this a very Happy Mother's Day!

I wish I could call my Mom today. I wish I could have sent her favorite pink roses. I wish I could have sent her the chocolates she loved. But I can't....

My mother passed away in 2003 after a lengthy illness and I know I miss her every day. It is hard for me to believe she has already been gone for over seven years. We talked at least once a week and I tried to visit at least two or three times a year when I was living on the other side of the country.

Even though she had a gay son with AIDS in the day when it was considered a death sentence, she loved me as she always had. Mom even joined the PFLAG chapter in her small city. She had friends who stopped speaking to her; a preacher who told her it was God's will I had AIDS and was dying; an aunt who stopped speaking to her and I am sure many other instances I never heard about all because I was gay and have HIV and AIDS. But she was the kind of Mom who loved her children no matter what and being in my corner and showing me support and love was more important to her than anything she had to go through to show it.

I know how lucky I was. Most of my friends, especially those in the 80s and early 90s, were usually disowned by their parents. And the parents disowned them only because they were gay with HIV and AIDS.

I spoke to Mom the last time right before I left for a trip to rural Mexico to work with children with HIV and AIDS at one of their clinics. It was the day before my 41st birthday and we must have talked for at least three hours. My mother passed away suddenly about ten days later. Unfortunately, my cell phone did not have any reception where I was so it was three days later when I got the alert I had over thirty messages. I knew immediately something was wrong since everyone knew I would be unable to get calls where I was going. The first message was from my Mom saying she loved me and was proud of the work I was doing. The next call was from my Dad saying she had passed away.

I flew to Pensacola the next day and went with my father to see Mom at the family private viewing. Mom had been in major pain for the last several years of her life. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful she looked and there was no pain in her face. As my heart was breaking at the loss of having her here with me, I knew she was in a better place where she would no longer be in constant pain.

To the rest of you who are reading this and your mother is still living, contact your mother today. Even if you have not spoken in years. One day she will not be here for you to have the chance. And trust me, I know the pain of wanting to speak to someone and not being able to any more.

Mothers (and grandmothers) are the backbone of our society, the birth givers, the nurturers. Without you, we would not have life, love or guidance. So I hope you have the happiest day of the year with all the pomp and circumstance you so richly deserve.

So pick up the phone and call. You never know when you might not be able to do so again.

And to my Mom, I love and miss you. I look forward to when I see you again. Happy Mother's Day.

Until we meet again; here's wishing all of you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab