Mothers..... where would we be without them? Well, for one thing, we would not exist... no miracles coming from someone's rib.. no growing in a test tube somewhere, we simply would not be without one. For that reason, and for that reason alone, we should bow down and thank them.. but that is not all there is to being a mother.. or having one.
Whether your memory is of a woman in an apron who cleaned the house, cooked meals for you, did all the shopping and the heavy lifting around the house, while your father went off to work; or if it is of a multi-tasking, modern day mother, holding down a job, running a household, raising 2.5 children, and scheduling playdates and organizing all of the modern child's out of the home activities. Either way... she is the one who worried incessantly about your health and welfare, jumping up and taking your temperature at the first sneeze, comforting you when you hurt yourself, making sure that you eat a good meal (I won't get into a definition of a 'Good Meal' here, because it raises too many questions and debates). She took you to the doctor when you're growing up for your wellness visits, to the dentist to make sure that your teeth are healthy and straight. She attended your sports games, cheering you on to encourage you to win, and was there with a shoulder and more encouragement when you did not. Your mother was your friend when you felt that you had none. When you got out of line and misbehaved, she was judge and jury, meting out punishment with love, because she wanted you to grow to be a strong and law abiding human. She was always there when you needed her, and just when you made a mistake that you thought that she could never forgive, she opened up that huge heart of hers and let her loving forgiveness surround you. She taught you respect for others beliefs and taught you acceptance, not tolerance, of all people in society. She taught you to love with an open heart, and if she was like my mother, with an open mind.
As you grew older, and approached those awkward teen years, she was right there with you.. giving advice, if you wanted it, and giving you a shoulder to cry on when your heart was broken. She, along with your father, prepared you for the harsh reality of life after childhood. We could not have survived without her love and guidance.
Some mothers were more outward than others. Some stood in the background and waited for when you needed them. Others were always right there, over your shoulder, arms at the ready, in case you should fall.
When you married, she was there with tears and pride as you took your vows. As you brought children into the world, she beamed with pride and doted on them, giving advice, welcome or not, on raising children. Whenever she did, believe that it was with love and respect for you and your loved ones.
Whether you called her mother, mom, ma, mama or whatever it was in your culture that was acceptable. Whether she was your birth mother, your adoptive mother, or your step-mother... if she is the one that took the responsibility to raise you, she is your mother. Mother is another way of saying unconditional love..
So, when you honor your mother on Mother's Day, remember all that she has been for you. How she has always been there, waiting to help in any way that she could. If you are lucky enough to have a mother who is still living, thank God, or whatever that you believe in, that you still have her and cherish every second that you can still talk to her. If you, like myself, has a mother who is gone.. take the day to honor her memory. Make an effort to wish every mother that you know a Very Happy and Loving Mothers Day! I just did!
Love and Peace to All
John Zaffino, Kent Lakes, NY
May 10, 2014