For those of you in the United States, Sunday was Mother's Day. It got me thinking about my relationship with my mother and of other people's relationships with their's.
I wrote this Sunday morning and it didn't make it onto SN in time. I offer it [with slight temporal modifications] as it was originally written:
I have no masterful prose to offer here. Rather, I'd like to extend an opportunity for the community to share their memorable experiences. A time when you especially felt supported or nurtured or challenged.
In my case, my Mom passed away several years ago. On Mother's Day I especially feel the loss of the exceedingly gentle and yet tough woman who sacrificed greatly so that I might have a chance at a good life. She taught me manners. To say "Please" and "Thank-you". She encouraged me to do my homework, sometimes at the threat of losing certain privileges. When I was just a few years old and puking my guts out from some illness, she sat by me gently stroking my back, encouraged me to have some flat Coca Cola and saltines to give me strength, and applied cool compresses to my forehead to help alleviate my fever. She offered perspective and gentleness when I was getting over my first childhood crush, when I failed my first try at my driver's license, and when I faced career changes in my life.
I realize that some here may have had less than wonderful moms; I have met some of you and my heart goes out to you. I hope that with time, you may be able to find peace.
For those who have had special times, I encourage you to please take some time to visit or call and make a small sacrifice for her.
Also, I ask you to put aside for a moment the black-and-white minutia of the latest gadget or OS and share a vignette of a special time you shared.
I'll close with this: "Mom, I don't know if there is a heaven, but if there is, I know you are there. I hope I've grown to be a man you are proud of; I know I wouldn't be half the man I am without you. Thanks is too little, but it is all I have to offer. I miss you."
My mother accepted my explanation that I didn't believe there should be a preassigned day for her or my Dad. My love and regard for my parents is a constant thread in my life and requires no pretense of celebration or gift giving. To this day I'm certain my spontaneous giving of small gifts and appreciative words on an unfixed basis has brought more joy to all concerned.
I don't need a prescribed occasion to remember or express how much I love either of my parents.
I'll add that to my list of excuses for when I next forget too.