Today is mother’s day. I am staying away from Facebook today, avoiding any restaurant that serves breakfast or brunch. It’s not that I don’t like seeing people honor their mother or celebrating. On the contrary, I think it’s important that we do. We all need to take the time to focus on the person who brought us into this world, nurtures us, loves us unconditionally. Mother’s day gives us the opportunity to feel like we have done that. Mother’s day is just as much, maybe more, for the children as it is for the mother.
Think about it. It’s true. Some give back to their mother well, do things for her and show her how much they love her. Even that person needs that one day to validate their love, to help them to feel like they have really shown her how special she is. Others, and I was probably one of them, MUST have a day to do just that. We need to feel we have shown her.
My mom used to drool over the prospect of one of her sons saying something about her on Facebook. That medium was her livelihood the last few years of her life, when knee replacement, foot and ankle surgeries made it difficult for her to get around for very long. Mom was not one to let a walker or cane keep her from being mobile, her stubborn refusal to let anything keep her down one of her endearing qualities. Those maladies forced her to spend more time in her easy chair, something that was more painful to her than her physical pain. However, the Christmas my brothers and I chipped in together to give her an iPad changed her world, expanded it, gave her a way to move beyond that cushioned prison. Mom was a lover, not so much a physical hugger, but nonetheless one who made her friends and family and anyone who came in contact with her feel deeply loved. Mom had very few superficial relationships. When that tablet brought into the world of Facebook, every post by one of her boys or her grandchildren or her friends or nephews/nieces received a comment from Mom. Every picture shared, every little meme or joke or announcement of another Cardinals win received a like and appreciation from her.
She liked it when I reached out to her there every Mother’s day. For her, it was better than a card. I could get to her at the beginning of the day, essential for me since Mom and Dad lived three hours south of Chicagoland. If I remembered to send her a present or a card, which happened most but not every Mother’s day, that would be the best I could do. I tried to call her early in the morning, knowing that she and Dad would be up early to go to church and then out for a meal. I can still remember that soft southern drawl, warm and tender, when she answered the phone. Oh, hello Steve was always the first thing she would say, as if it was a surprise that I called.
This is the first year that I can’t call her. I have my memories of her, I guess the best way I can communicate with her today. Mother’s day is now in my heart, a day when I remember the woman who….
Tucked me in every night, until this little boy decided he was too big of a boy for that.
Waited for me to come home during those crazy high school years.
Showed me what it means to not just believe in Jesus, but to know Jesus. There’s a difference.
Set the bar of honoring my father to a height that no woman will ever be able to reach.
Supported me even when I was wrong.. probably is the reason for my enormous ego.
Demonstrated a strength that every one of her children possesses because of her.
Cried with me when I needed someone to cry with… sometimes there was no one else.. and she never turned me down, never showed me the burden that sometimes carried.
Played the piano with her heart, something it’s nearly impossible to understand until you hear it, but anyone who heard her play knows what I mean. I went to sleep many a night hearing her heart beat through her fingers on the keys.
This is my first heavenly mother’s day. I didn’t to call her this morning, but I did get to reach out to her through my words, maybe one of the gifts she passed on to me.
Thanks, Mom. I love you. Somehow, it’s OK that you are no longer a phone call away.. because a memory is so much more closer because you are already here.