Thoughts on Mother's Day
by Cheryl Redgate
As Mother’s Day approaches on Sunday, May 13th, it is our opportunity to take a moment to reflect on the women who have shaped our lives and let them know how grateful we are for their influence. These women may be our biological moms, adopted moms, our grandmothers, aunts, sisters, mentors or friends. And if we are mothers ourselves, or have had the privilege to be involved in the raising of a child, we appreciate more than ever the time, energy, patience, devotion, love and hard work it took for these “moms” to guide us and give us the confidence we now have in nurturing our own. Our task of raising strong, independent, responsible, spiritual and loving people is daunting… and yet clearly filled with many precious moments. Ask any Mom and she will say that while Mother’s Day may be officially celebrated on the second Sunday of May across the country, but it is the daily gifts of those big hugs, bedtime stories, arms that hold us tightly around our necks, lullabies, whispered secrets, shared prayers to God…and spontaneous “I love you Mom” declarations which become embedded in our hearts and remind us of the cherished moments we treasure any day of the year.
Erma Bombeck, great humorist and author, who passed away in 1996, wrote a poignant explanation of “Why Mothers Cry”:
“Why are you crying?” he asked his Mom.
“Because I’m a mother,” she told him.
“I don’t understand,” he said.
His mom just hugged him and said, “You never will!” Later the little boy asked his father why Mother seemed to cry for no reason.
“All mothers cry for no reason,” was all his dad could say.
The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why mothers cry. So he finally put in a call to God and when God got on the phone, the man said “God, why do mothers cry so easily?”
And God said, “You see, son, when I made mothers, they had to be special. I made their shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. I gave them an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times come from their children. I gave them a hardiness that allows them to keep going when everyone else gives up, and to take care of their families through sickness and fatigue without complaining. I gave them the sensitivity to love their children under all circumstances, even when their child has hurt them very badly. This same sensitivity helps them to make a child’s boo-boo feel better and helps them share a teenager’s anxieties and fears.”
And then God added, “I gave them a tear to shed. It’s theirs exclusively to use whenever it’s needed. It’s their only weakness. It’s a tear for mankind.”
The man’s lifelong quest for an answer to his question was finally answered…and he understood.
This May 13th, let us take time to share our appreciation for the countless gestures of unconditional love, nurturing, humor and encouragement we have been shown by the women, mothers or not, who are important to us. Whether by connecting through the telephone, a letter or card, plans of time together or, if not so fortunate to have them still, by way of a prayer of thankfulness to God, this day is one set aside to acknowledge those in our lives who have helped us become who we are. Happy Mother’s Day!