Dr. Bill Atwood

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all. Yes, even the guys are wished a happy Mother’s Day if you follow the original intent of Anna Mae Jarvis, who conjured up the idea of celebrating the gift that mothers are in our lives with a special day. Miss Jarvis, who wasn’t a mother, wanted to pay honor to her mother and that was her idea. When she wished people a, “Happy Mother’s Day,” she was honoring that person’s mother and not the person to whom she offered the greeting.

Kids understand that there is a great difference between their mom’s and their dad’s ways of thinking. Biblically, the father sets the moral compass for the home and it is the man’s role to honor his mother and his wife. The real men in our society treat the women with whom they have contact with dignity, respect, and courtesy.

Women are the ones who offer the nurturing to folks in the family and in society. It’s the moms who clean up the messes we make, wipe away the tears, encourage us to do our best, and protect us with the attitude of a mama bear watching her cubs.

This coming Sunday the nation takes the time to honor our moms. My mother, Harriet, and Carol’s mother, Martha, are both with the Lord and we don’t get to have them over for dinner this Sunday to tell them stuff about our lives. Many of you are in the same boat. Others of you have the golden opportunity to visit your mom on her special day if you live close to one another. If distance prevents that encounter, then a phone call or Skype chat may have to do. Trust me, they want the conversation and the time. Just a card won’t do. Flowers are nice and a gift is lovely, but it seems to be the sounds of our voices saying, “I love you mom,” that delights that special lady.

Then there are the dear sweet ladies who have given birth but have had to bury their child or worse, their children. I can’t imagine a worse fate than that for a mother. We need to honor those dear women who have outlived their dear ones. Trust me - you’re not dredging up a memory, you’re being there as they recall.

Our moms aren’t perfect. They are not the June Cleavers, Betty Andersons, or Donna Reeds of television’s make-believe worlds. I learned that at a very early age as Harriet Atwood was far from the examples I have mentioned. She gave it her best shot and that is what it was. Mom was better than some, worse than others but she was the one who carried me in the womb, went through the pains of delivery, and alongside my dad reared my brother and me.

We were encouraged to do our schoolwork, do our chores, participate in sports, Scouting, and be active in church. We ate dinner as a family and shared our day’s activities. Money was tight but mom watched over the budget so there was always enough set aside for all our needs, most of our wants, and some extravagances as well. I remember a few trips to Disneyland when mom and dad would “sit out” the ride because they weren’t interested in that particular attraction. Later I discovered that they had only ridden the Main Street Fire Truck or Omnibus because they could only afford to treat my brother and me to the day as long as they did not ride. In those days you bought a ticket for each attraction.

I remember giving her gifts that had to make her wonder what I was thinking when I bought that precious ceramic dog, or the 99 cent necklace of “real faux” pearls. Moms adore the poorly made crafts and the poorly drawn cards, and even the macaroni statues their children create. If your mom is still alive chances are that when the sad time comes to clear out her room you are going to find those treasures in a box in a drawer.

So we all get a chance to look at what our moms have done for us over our lives. They felt our first kicks in the womb, and they felt each move as we developed. Then they felt love for us the nanosecond they saw us for the first time. They understood when we wanted to go skiing instead of spending the day with them and they understood when we let them down. They dismissed our outbursts when in anger we told them that we hated them and they cried for joy at our many “firsts.”

This Sunday be sure to honor your mother. The other 364 days, show honor to her by being a great son or a great daughter.

I learned a great lesson years ago - God couldn’t be everywhere so he created mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.