The blues in me began to take hold. And truth be told, I wasn't really thinking about Mother's Day and the fact that I lost my mom 13 years ago. But for some reason, new friends and strangers alike were reminding me of it not because they knew, but because of their understandably presumptious line of questioning: "ARE YOU GOING TO SEE YOUR MOM FOR 'MOTHER'S DAY'?" or it might be "SO WHAT ARE YOU GETTING YOUR MOM FOR 'MOTHER'S DAY"? and - in some cases - it was "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO GET MY MOM FOR 'MOTHER'S DAY' AND I HAVE TO SPEND TOMORROW WITH HER. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?". Like never before, I found myself most sensitive to these questions and comments. After VINCE asked me one of the questions the night prior, I answered. He followed the uncomfortable silence (for me) and my short retort with "WHEN DID SHE DIE?". I said "1994". And there it stood. Of course, I HONOR all mothers and LOVE that those who still have them on this earth can ENJOY THEM and LOVE THEM as they --- and my own ---- deserve to be loved. But in this moment, it's not feeling so great. Now, 12 Mother's Days have come and gone since mom's passing and admittedly, they haven't all been a bed of roses. Still, I had gotten to a place where I was able to "get over" the feelings of sadness and loss around the holiday, and just move through it without 'feeling" it so hard. Well, that has not been the case this go around. 
But guess what? There's light inside of this darkness. My friend Sharvo, who too was not aware of my status as a "motherless child", felt something when I popped by her office yesterday. I went in with smiles and love and hugs, but it didn't fool her. She let me say all I needed to say about the weather, the weekend, and the windy city. Then, she said "WHERE'S MY PATRICK?". I looked at her clueless at first (knowing instinctively that she must have spotted my space, despite my efforts to disguise it). I said "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?". She pushed further "SOMETHING IS WRONG. YOU'RE NOT YOURSELF TODAY.". I wasn't moping or anything, but I thought to myself "SHE'S RIGHT. MY ENERGY IS A BIT ZAPPED AND SPENT.". I confessed "I'M NOT SURE, BUT I THINK THIS HOLIDAY AND ALL OF THE HYPE AROUND IT ARE IMPACTING MORE THAN I THOUGHT THEY WOULD. I LOST MY MOM IN 1994 AND THOUGH IT'S BEEN MANY YEARS, I'M JUST SAD TODAY.". Sharvo immediately related and said "I KNOW WHAT THAT IS. AND THAT'S WHAT I SEE...". Learning she had a feeling of loss around her "mother" (though her mother was not dead) was as sad as my own lost, but comforting in the sense that I wasn't alone in the colossal experience of loss - like no other (especially if you are close to your MOTHER). She then gave me a hug and the moment made me feel a little better and a little less alone. I proceeded to call ANTHONY and share with him the moment - at which time I began to cry uncontrollably over it all - THE SADNESS, THE UNDERSTANDING, THE LONGING, and whatever is left after that. Anthony was chockful of comfort and forwarding ideas around what I could do to HONOR my mom. Ideas like maybe calling my father to find out some things about my mom that I don't know. "What did she look like when you met her?" "How did she tell you she was pregnant with me?" "What was your wedding like?" were questions Anthony offered I could ask to move away from the SADNESS and focus on the mounds of JOY that are still available, if I chose to focus on them. Though I appreciated that (and other) recommendations, it didn't quite shift me immediately. Still, inside of his connection with me, I felt loved and that made me feel good. As I waded through the day, Itika wanted to lift my spirits with a party she was scheduled to attend. She asked that I accompany her. I agreed, but needed to get back to my hotel and find a skull cap from somewhere as the WARM CHICAGO SPRING returned WINDY and COLD on this morning. I went to "FILENE'S BASEMENT" (www.filenesbasement.com) on Michigan Avenue where I got my Aunt Jemima-looking headwrap (from the Men's section) as it was all they had (here in Spring with summer merchandise a priority). I decided that I was finally going to try (SOLO) "DEVON" Seafood Grill (www.devonseafood.com/), which my friend Murphy had tried in Philadelphia and gave glowing reviews. As I propped myself up at the bar to have a drink and some good food, who walks in? SHARVO, the friend who'd spotted the sadness that I thought I was covering up. Accompanied by her friend Chrisna, who just successfully defended her dissertation towards her Ph.D in Educational Psychology, Sharvo approached like a beautiful "earth" angel and greeted me. She asked if I was there alone. And though I don't mind dining alone, there was something vulnerable in her asking and vulnerable in my reply. Standing in the reality that I was there to eat alone, she asked me to join them. Reticent at first because I needed to eat quickly in order to meet Itika for the party, I instead took the challenge of connection and fellowship and joined Sharvo and Chrisna in one of Devon's special alcove's (private dining room). And because we don't believe in coincidendes, both Sharvo and I knew we needed this night together. We laughed and THE FOOD was off the charts. The crab cakes, the salmon, the scallops, the caesar salad, the hazelnut cheesecake were all some of the best cuisine I've ever tasted. And the company was even better. I didn't have my camera with me to chronicle this moment that was perhaps the most special of the week. Like the revolution, this was not televised nor recorded. But trust, the vivid and fond memories of this sharing with Sharvo and Chrisna won't soon be lost on me. And I'm sure we'll recreate it again sometime soon. It truly was just what the doctor ordered...
It looks like I'll be going home tomorrow, which is a good thing. Tonight, Chicago Carl and I may hit the club, The Generator, which I've BLOG'd about before. (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/1/15/-but-i-need-a-friend.html). Tomorrow, I'll forego Itika's invitation to the Ebony Fashion Fair fashion show which I was looking forward to as I hadn't done one of those in a minute. Another loving invitation from my Alicia and Carla for Sunday dinner at J. Alexander's followed by a late show with Bilal will require a raincheck as - in the words of Mahogany - "... I want to go home...". This, after she stepped into another peak experience as a designer in Rome. I've had some amazing highs on the leg of this trip (and a few lows that have left me a little blue), but while most will be looking at their Mother's tomorrow, I am excited to go home to "... get my old man back..."
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 09:43PM by Registered CommenterTHE LIFE OF RILEY in | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References

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    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - "SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD"
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    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - "SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD"
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    Response: comment-365844
    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - "SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD"

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