Get out the greeting cards, order the flowers, and mend those fences ladies and gentleman: This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and if you’re like me, it’s not just the mothers in your lives who expect (and deserve) some recognition this weekend.
It’s also the Glos (rhymes with shows).
Glo (government name, Gloria) is 78. She is a widow. She is Italian. She is a platinum player at her local casino.
She is my amazing grandmother.
I started calling her Glo a decade ago. I don’t know why, but someone like her needed a shortened nickname. She is the Bono of my life. She didn’t like her moniker at first. She would defiantly say, “I am grandma to you, Adam.”
Now she loves it, because she is a celebrity amongst my friends.
“I gave you a plus one for the wedding, but that really only applies if you plan on bringing Glo.”
“That’s great that the biopsy came back negative, but I really called to see what Glo thinks of Reese Witherspoon getting arrested.”
She is larger than life. (She’ll probably think I’ve just called her fat, which means she’ll threaten to cancel Christmas, so let it be known she is NOT FAT.) And when you’re larger than life, you love the people in your life more than is conceivable.
All my life, I had reaped the benefits of Glo overdoing it on my behalf. (Truth: At age four I told the sales clerk at a department store I knew who Santa was. When she said, “Who?” I said, “Grandma Gloria.” I answered that way partly because the year before it took me six hours to open all my presents … from Glo.)
She still sends me $25 for Valentine’s Day. Every year she writes the same note: “Buy new pants so you don’t look like trash.”
A long time ago, I decided to embrace her. Glo can be Glo.
I won’t try to get her to change her favorite movie. It’s ok that she likes White Chicks more than Argo. I won’t tell her to stop stockpiling nonperishables for an apocalypse that won’t happen.
Beyond accepting her, I will also let it be known how much I appreciate her.
12 years ago, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. I was a motherless mama’s boy.
For millions of us, Mother’s Day reminds us of what we don’t have. We draw the blinds, bring out the tissues, and ignore our phones. All the while, we ignore the people in our life who’ve picked up the torch, who’ve mothered us without us asking, and who’ve watched us grow into the people our mothers helped mold.
Glo is not my mother. She never will be. That’s ok. She still deserves a blue ribbon on Mother’s Day.
If you’re like me, holidays after a keystone person in your life has passed are undefinable. They are a delicate and meaningful dance with memory and reality that help me appreciate the people who’ve passed and the people who are present.
Join Glo and I this weekend as we enjoy a chocolate martini toast for the woman in our lives who make Mother’s Day about more than just mothers.
By Adam Paluka
Photo by Adam.