I used to be one of those people who celebrated their mother on Father's Day. I had convinced myself that she was both mother and father, a role that deserved two holidays. Sometimes I got her flowers or if I got lucky a card that said "Happy Father's Day Mom", you see even Hallmark was cashing in on absentee dads.
My single mother story is the same one you've heard before with just a different cast of characters. And with my dad not being around bitterness grew in my spirit, which translated to anger in a child too young to understand their emotions. For years I was pissed at my dad for not being there. His halfhearted attempts at reconciliation during my teenage years just added fuel to an already large fire, and I told myself that I was done.
Because you see in my mother I had everything that I needed, a strict disciplinarian well versed in the school of " I don't play that" and a loving matriarch who stressed the importance of family. What I was missing in a father, I had in a mother. I grew up strong, loved, and complete.
And as I got older the anger I felt for my father dissipated. I realized that though I missed having him in my life, I didn't miss out on life. And my mother well she is just everything, she is strong, kind, loving, thoughtful, in my eyes she is larger than life, my angel here on earth, but the one thing she is not is my father. Eventually I forgave him because we often forget that our parents are human beings who while guiding our way are also finding theirs.
So I stopped celebrating my mother on Father's Day. Not because I felt she wasn't deserving of the accolades (because she is), but because in celebrating my mom on a day meant for dads I was celebrating a bitterness that I didn't feel anymore. She doesn't have to be both my mother and father, as my mother she is more than enough.
When I finally reconciled with my dad we were inseparable, almost as if time had made him the father that I always wanted, an encourager, a supporter, an awesome dad. When he passed away suddenly a few years ago those Father's Days that we did have together meant so much more.
So on Mother's Day I shout it from the rooftops "Ain't nobody better than my mama" her sacrifice, her love, I would write it in the sky if I could. And I'll save Father's Day for all the amazing dads out there, and the memory of my own.