"What Do You Do On Mother's Day?"

"What Do You Do On Mother's Day?"

I absolutely, with every fiber of my being, do not want to be alone.

Recently I had a friend look at me and very innocently ask, “What do you do on Mother’s Day?”

Knowing that they absolutely meant it in the least hurtful, offensive, and most genuine way; I took a deep breath and I said “I go to the cemetery.”

Trying to keep the conversation short, sweet, and unemotional, I elaborated a little further to say that I’d probably pick up some flowers, and my siblings, so that I didn’t make the trip alone. But the further I thought into it, I really wondered…what should I be doing on Mother’s Day?

My immediate thought is that in the worst way, I want to be completely and totally alone. Not only because I know that I personally get very bitter, but also because for weeks leading up to this day there have been multitudes of advertisements about pampering the most important woman in your life…so every post, picture, flower, card, and song feels like the entire world is collapsing on top of my chest. The immense weight of Mother’s Day on someone whose mother is no longer in their life is a pain that I can only pray someone doesn’t have to experience. Sometimes daily life is too much to handle, never mind an entire day that is dedicated to spending it pampering and worshiping the ground that she walks on. Hell, I’ve been on a “Say Yes to the Dress” kick lately that has the power to break me down to a whimpering, blubbering, sobbing mess at any given point in time.

My next thought is that I absolutely, with every fiber of my being, do not want to be alone. On one hand I just want to be held, I want to cry, I want to ask why, and spend a decent amount of time loathing the fact that this life was chosen for me. On the other, I want to be distracted - I want to celebrate the mothers in my life that I know are the very reason for the existence of the people I love. I want to celebrate the women they are, the people they made, and their unwavering devotion to not only their families…but also to me.

You see, I’m a firm believer that when someone’s mother dies there is a very defined “before” and there is a completely different “after.” How you choose to deal with the “after,” is a task all your own. In the “before” I loved Mother’s Day; I loved going out and getting all of my favorite, strong, independent, mommas flowers, I loved seeing their faces light up, I loved being able to cook for my mom, paint her nails, and make her feel great about herself. I loved seeing my best friend’s mom and my god-mother gleam when I brought over their bouquets of flowers. In the “after” the sheer thought of walking into a florist, a grocery store, or even a Walmart over the next couple weeks makes me a little queasy. This year we approach the third Mother’s Day without my mother, and it will be the first one that I’ll be trying to half-participate in. Not because I feel like I’m obligated to after hiding from it, but because I want to. I want to be able to let these ladies know that their hard work is recognized not only on this day, but every day.

So, to anyone who wonders “What do you do on Mother’s Day?” - My answer is: Cemetery, and anything after that depends on how confident I’m feeling in my mental and emotional stability. But yes, I will still probably post a photo collage that will make you feel slightly uncomfortable.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to communicate with your mother whenever you want, remember to let them know you appreciate them this day, and every day.

Lastly, to anyone reading this who is in the “after,” Happy Mother’s Day to you, and to your momma. I know that you miss her just as much as I miss mine, too.

Cover Image Credit: Meghan DeLuca

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Come To Terms With Having An Imperfect Relationship With Your Parents And Accept Them As They Are

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious.

Despite coming from an Asian household, my relationship with my parents is not always governed by the classic "respect your elders" and "honor the family" values. Don't get me wrong though, I do hold true to these sayings, but with a grain of salt.

For those of us who do not have the good fortune of having healthy, happy relationships with our parents, there comes a moment of enlightenment when we realize that we will never have those kinds of relationships with our parents. That is absolutely OK.

In my case, this happened in the first semester of my first year of college. I was living away from home and was surprised by the unusually loving behavior of my mom and dad. However, once I started commuting from home the next semester, the loving gestures like texting me to ask me how my day or wanting to have a chat with me just because, ended and I felt like I was back to square one with my parents. I had hoped that the distance would make my parents be more expressive and open with me (which it did) but that was gone in an instant I was back home. I had the same old arguments with my parents and felt like a high school student all over again.

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious. Then we feel incredibly guilty for being such bad children who just can't listen to their parents. This guilt forces us to deal with so much emotional abuse, manipulation, and stress until we realize that our parents are people. We are allowed to not get along with them.

Once I realized that I will neither be able to fully satisfy my parents nor will they treat me fairly, I was able to accept them for who they were. By not holding them up to expectations they couldn't meet, my parents became more human and their flaws were those of people, rather than of my parents. All of my hurt feelings subsided as everything became less personal.

Relationships between our parents dictate our choices, our treatment of others, and our treatment of ourselves. It's important to know that you are not at fault for not loving your parents to the moon and back and that you should not feel guilty for something you cannot control. Parents are not black or white, they are gray in that they give us life and we owe them respect and acknowledgment, but that doesn't guarantee love and harmony.

It is OK to be a "bad" child if that means doing what is best for you.

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