It is Mother’s Day, a day when most children leave everything they are doing and focus on mom. Flowers and gifts are bought, reservations are made, and so many cakes are baked! Some go out for breakfast to a crowded place where it’s hard to enjoy a meaningful conversation, some have to divide their attention between multiple moms, and like many other events, deep down most people are happy to put it behind them. Mother’s Day? Check!
While I honor all moms, my view of this day happens to be a bit different. And I think I know why. We lost our mom when, being the youngest, I was too little to appreciate her role in my life. This is a fact that I have come to accept and it no longer affects me. But I will never forget the deep sorrow I felt on such days when all this universe seemed to think about was mom… mom… mom! The radio announcements, gift sales, and even school programs went on and on without stopping to think, “What is Zoe going to celebrate?!”
So it makes sense that I grew up resenting the day. In fact, sitting back and watching others, I sometimes found it too pretentious. What were all these people doing with their moms over the rest of the year? Why did they need one particular date to fuss over what was already an obvious blessing?
Not being one to brood, I finally thought of a plan that would help me to celebrate the day in my own way. Instead of internalizing the sentiments, on each Mother’s Day I tried to reach out to someone who did not enjoy the occasion the way TV ads wanted them to. These didn’t have to be daughters and sons, they could also be mothers whose children would not, or could not, join the festivities. And worst of all, mothers who had lost a child. And what about women who had no children of their own? I knew many such women and most of them were more “mother’ to someone than the actual birth mother could be.
Life does take away, but if we are lucky – and patient – it may also give back. Years later, I was blessed with a caring husband whose flow of red roses on Mother’s Day never stopped, and we ended up with three of the best children in the world. Throughout their childhood, my little ones brought me the cards they had made with construction paper, the painted rocks for paperweight, and a wealth of plastic beads and colored macaroni jewelry! I treasured them all and still have a few saved.
When they were old enough to understand, I finally shared my feelings about this day and explained that to me, each day is a cause for celebration. I asked them, “If there were no calendars, no media, and no commercialism, how would you show me your love? Wouldn’t this be just another Sunday?” I told them that each time I see the three of them – now doubled by marriage – it is Mothers’ Day all over. That fact needs no reminder, and as facts go, it will never change.
So here is a lovely photo Lilly took on our last trip to Holland, and I am offering it as a gift to not only mothers, but also to all the children in the world to wish them happiness, not only for today, but for all the days to come.
Image may contain: flower, plant, sky, outdoor and nature
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