For the past few months I have been posting the events, births, and deaths on the calendar date. It has been intriguing to me and hopefully educational for you. I have decided to break with that pattern for today. Sometimes there are days, like Labor Day, Easter, Thanksgiving , and other religious and cultural observances that don’t fall on the same date each year. Mothers Day is one of them. It is observed on the second Sunday in May. And this year that is today. Just like the date shifting the day is viewed differently by many people.
It is a day to remember our moms. For me that first means that I remember my Mom and the lessons she taught me and the examples she set for me. I say that when you see me you see my mom. and I am who I am because of her. I remember her always.
I also remember a few others. I remember Pat Ryan, my mother-in-law. She gave birth to and raised my wife Debbie, and for that I will be forever grateful, and she did it as a single mom. I remember Geraldine Briningstool, the preacher’s wife who was like a second mom to me after my mom passed. And also my sister Barb, who if you see family pictures and someone is holding little ole me, it would her.
But there are others I think of for whom this day is a day of sadness. They should not be forgotten, even though many of them will not want to look at Facebook or other social media posts. Help them be remembered.
First of all there are all the single ladies. Being single can be a pain especially on certain dates. The world is often centered around the married part of the population and singles get forgotten. Been there, done that:(
Then there are the single mothers, of which 2 of my 3 sisters were at times. They did a great job raising their kids, but got the flack about their status. Single moms should be celebrated, not shunned. Whether by divorce or death they are doing the work of two and in most cases doing it quite well.
There are also the mothers who are told by a large part of society that they shouldn’t be. Whether they were single choosing to bear or adopt a child, or whether they with a female partner chose to bear or adopt a child, they were shunned and guilt-tripped, they were not given the support they needed. You are not forgotten.
There are those moms who have lost a child. This day can be exceedingly rough. I have a friend in Toastmasters who lost her grown daughter suddenly, and worse yet the doctors did not have an answer for why? As Théoden spoke in the Return of the King (LOTR)”n0 parent should have to bury their child”. It is a sad day for those.
Then there are those we know, and more as we age ourselves, for whom this day reminds them of the missing moms. For some their mothers are still alive but out of touch. Not everyone had a mom who was supportive. Some had a mother, who for whatever reason, was neglectful, absent, or abusive. That is a terribly wrenching experience and is way overlooked.
For a lot of us mom is no longer there because of death. Whether it is a recent passing or, like me over 40 years, it is still a loss. For those the question “have you called your mom?” cuts like a knife. Loss brings bittersweet feelings: happiness for what you had, sadness for what you have now only in memories.
And then there is the really overlooked group. Those women who would have liked to have been moms, but for various reasons are not. It might have been that they couldn’t or circumstances prevented it. No one seems to understand that mother’s day is a day of regret and what-ifs and missing. And of course with society seeming obsessed with the husband/wife 2.5 kids set up and the assumption that every woman should naturally have children, those who don’t can feel really left out.
There are many expressions of family in the world today. Please understand that your particular set up is not the only model. My wife and I are family just as much as my mom and dad and five of us kids were, and so is your family, Make sure on this Mother’s Day that you leave nobody out.
In whatever situation you find yourself, find peace and acceptance in who and what you are. You are not forgotten today.