We Have a Plan Today I stayed at home due to an earache which

We Have a Plan
Today I stayed at home due to an earache which finally got the best of me. While
relaxing in the living room, listening to the US House debate the financial mess in the home
lending industry, my mind naturally began to wander. Wouldn't yours?
I started deep breathing and stretching and I realized that this has become my method
of coping when I know something I dread is heading my way. Inhale deeply, hold for slow count
of seven, breathe out for slow count of eight. After about ten of these, I began to relax and think
about constructive things. Then my husband called to ask me if I knew that this Sunday was
Mother's Day. Hmmmm.
As you can tell, I don't tell him everything that I do....or think. He asked if we were
planning to go to my family's place in the country as my aunt and cousin had mentioned it to
him. Sure, I said, why not?
Why not? Let's see. My cousin has six children who are all alive and well. She has a
number of grandchildren. My aunt has only one child. Fortunately, my cousin's daughter who
was born a few months after Todd, is very thoughtful towards me. We have become pretty
close. I encourage her, I help her, I mentor her and she is blooming like a perfect rose. Her
daughter is nothing short of remarkable. Her son reminds me of Todd. She, in turn, has taken a
piece of my heart and helped to fill the void left after Todd's death and the disconnection that
ensued with Todd's daughters. There is happiness in this home. There is love. There is an easy
conversation about days gone by, about Todd, about his life, the things he did as a child, a
teenager, a young man and, finally, an adult. There are reminders of my childhood, too, and all
the growing pains. Silence doesn't mean we don't know what to say, it simply means we share a
memory and we all feel the loss of Todd. And we always will.
My cousin will get lots of cards, lots of calls. I won't. My aunt will get lots of cards and
gifts. I won't. But that doesn't really matter anymore. I perceive Mother's Day differently now. I
remember the past with not a few tears, but I live in this moment and absorb the happiness that
surrounds me. And, yes, I will get a card and a gift....from my cousin's daughter. She will sign it
"with love". .... reminding me that I will always be a mom. Todd's mom.
And that's how it will probably be this year. Mother Day 2008.
We can make plans or do nothing. It is, after all, our day. We can cry or we can ignore
the holiday. I have done all of these and more. Each year is different because we all will
continue to change and evolve and reach for hope. So let the day take you where it will, or take
charge of the day if you choose. There are no rules....we make it up as we go along.
Annette Mennen Baldwin
In memory of my son, Todd Mennen
TCF, Katy, TX