By: Niles Reddick
Mother’s Day is a game I play once a year that I will never win, but I still play it.
I’ll send her a card, maybe some flowers, and I’ll make the call to see how it’s going. My other siblings will hopefully remember, too, but if one of them forgets, then she will say ugly things because after all, she spent hours in labor before the epidural was invented.
Never mind that she abandoned us (even though our father was wonderful), and showed up periodically through the years, uninvited and unannounced, with different husbands she no longer remembers; they pinched our cheeks. Each one told us he was our new daddy and offered us plastic toys from dime stores. Just like as quickly as dust devils appear and vanish, she’d be gone again.
Now, in the final stage of life, we have provided her shelter with all the furnishings, and she spends her retirement knocking back vodka, sucking cigarettes, downing pain medication for a list of ailments, and complains we’re unappreciative, self-centered, and don’t care. I want to tell her biology doesn’t make a mother, but I won’t.
I play the Mother’s Day game every year and while I’ll never win, she is the loser.
Niles Reddick is author of a novel Drifting too far from the Shore, a collection Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in many literary magazines including Drunk Monkeys, Spelk, The Arkansas Review: a Journal of Delta Studies, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Slice of Life, Faircloth Review, among others.