She felt your very first kick. She gave you your first drop of nourishment and cared for you from the moment of conception. Your belly button is evidence of the direct tie to her while you were in her womb.
That dear lady carried you around for nine months and endured hours of discomfort, many restless nights, backaches, dietary restrictions, and then the pains of the delivery. Through it all she continued to develop her love for you, and when you arrived she quickly chose to forget about the tough parts of the pregnancy to begin the nurturing of you.
She’s your mom and she brought you into this world.
This Sunday we stop and take time to honor our mothers. Anna Mae Jarvis wanted this holiday created so that we as a nation and as individual could demonstrate our love for our moms.
Anna was never a mother but she always honored hers, and it was Anna’s intent that we honor each other’s mother. According to Anna’s thinking, we should wish everyone a “Happy Mother’s Day” as an expression of respect for that person’s mother. So it isn’t a greeting saved only for those ladies amongst us who have borne children, but a greeting for all of us - men included.
When I was growing up during the 1950s, we had Margaret Anderson and June Cleaver on television as the perfect mother. They always seemed to have their hair done, pearls on, the house was spotless, their clothes tailored, and they always had the milk and cookies ready, dinner was always delicious, and they did not raise their voices at anyone.
My mother, Harriet, was nothing like Margaret or June. Your mother probably wasn’t either. That doesn’t seem to matter because our mothers filled the bill for the most part and we seem to have survived.
Clearly my mom made some mistakes along the way, but babies just don’t seem to come with instruction manuals. My mom did what she thought was best for my brother and I at the time. My brother was born with a serious medical condition and dad had just been called away to Korea to serve with the Marines. While dad was fighting there and enduring conditions at the Chosin Reservoir, mom was staying with Aunt Corrine and Uncle Eddy nursing a sickly child.
Once dad came home and a few months later I came along, mom had two sons to care for while dad was off at work each day. Eventually we were both in school and our parents lives changed to work all day and parent all evening.
My brother and I had birthday parties, went through scouting, Little League, and enjoyed annual summer vacations in Yosemite National Park. At first it was tent camping, then rental trailers but it was a great deal of fun and our parents just always seemed to be there for us.
Many of my readers knew my mom and know what a unique personality she had. She had a temper and a mouth. Both were well known. She also had a kind side and many people saw through the rough exterior to find that “softer, gentler Harriet.” She was stern and strict, and a tough task master, but we always knew we were loved.
Her toughness toward others and her sons was her way and not the way displayed by the perfect television wives. But none of my friends, except for Jonathan, had one of those moms. Harriet grew up raised by a widowed mother during the Depression and life wasn’t easy for her.
Mom’s two boys turned out okay. Two Eagle Scouts, two teachers, two faithful husbands to our wives, two church goers, and two men who see the value of strong family. Not too bad.
So as Sunday approaches, make plans to make the calls and the visits. Get the card, the flowers, the candy, the reservation at a restaurant. Plan a family outing and spend time with your mother.
As I shared earlier my mom, like many others, could be difficult but I sure would be a happier man if I had the opportunity to spend one more day with her, let alone a Mother’s Day. Our last one together was in 1994. I miss her.
Happy Mother’s Day.