Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mothers' Day, 2011

Three years ago, I wrote a special post for Mother’s Day. Since it said everything I wanted to say about this day, I've been using it each year since. This year, I’m using it again, with a few minor updates. You can sue me if you like. Good luck finding any assets.

Today is Mothers’ Day, the one day each year we set aside to honor the lady we undervalue the other 364. It’s the day we remember the person who made our hurts better, explained our homework, cooked our meals, washed our clothes, drove us where we needed to go, warned us about our less-savory acquaintances, embarrassed us in front of our friends, and did her best to point us down the straight line of a moral and upright life.

Mothers are the wonderful and woefully underappreciated people from whom the Army and the Navy stole their one-time recruiting slogans - the Army's "We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day," and the Navy's "It's not just a job, it's an adventure." With all due respect to Soldiers and Sailors everywhere ... you guys ain't got a clue.

A while back I found this little riff on how we look at our Mothers at different ages:

Age 4: Mommy can do anything!
Age 8: Mom knows a lot!
Age 12: Mother doesn't know everything.
Age 14: Mother doesn't know anything.
Age 16: Mother is so old-fashioned.
Age 18: Her? She's out of it.
Age 25: Mom might know something about that.
Age 35: Before we decide, let's ask Mom.
Age 45: What would Mom have thought about that?
Age 65: I wish I could talk that over with Mom.

It’s true.

My mother passed away in 2001 at the age of 74. She spent a long and honorable life raising four children who, I like to think, made her proud. And in her twilight years, her once-formidable mind ravaged by Alzheimer’s Disease, she missed much of the result of her love and care and sacrifice – a son who finally knows how to dance (and who may yet write that book she thought he had in him), a small army of grandchildren, and five beautiful great-grandchildren who will never know her love and wisdom and the off-the-wall sense of humor that brightened the lives of those who knew her.

The next generation of Mothers has taken over. My beloved daughter Yasmin and the best daughter-in-law in the world, Tabitha, between them are raising the world’s five greatest grandchildren. And someday Marcy and Joe, Noah, Leya and Elise will sit down on Mothers’ Day and reflect – just as their grandpa does today – on the marvelous lady who gave up so much of her own life and dreams to make them who they are.

Take the time today to give your Mother a hug and a kiss. Someday, you’ll wish you had.

And so again this year, I wish my own Agnes, Yasmin and Tabitha, Amanda and Fiona, SuzyQ and Chrissy, Kathy, and all the other mothers out there doing the world's toughest job, a very happy Mothers' Day and many more to come.

We couldn't be what we are, or do what we do, without you.

And, just to not be too maudlin about it, here's something all you mothers out there can appreciate:

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Amanda said...

You may post the same thing every year but your Mother's Day post is still as thoughtful as ever. Thats a beautiful picture of your mother - she really does look like a wonderful woman.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good thought there, Bilbo

Mike said...

I'm almost to the last number on the list. And it's amazing how often that thought pops into your head.

Anonymous said...

Loved your tribute to your Mother. Very touching. I'm in the midst of finals but drove home for this weekend. My one surviving great-grandmother is now 90, and every holiday or special day like this might be her last. I also have two fantastic grandmothers, and a totally-beyond-excellent Mother. The surprise and love on their faces when I just arrived unannounced Friday night was so worth the trouble and the trip home.

Know what? During "The War," with great-grandad overseas in North Africa and Italy, and two infant children, she still managed to work at Fairfield Yards building Liberty ships.

She's got fourteen great-grandchildren now, all of whom think the universe revolves around her still-lovely head.

KathyA said...

Are you not the sweetest man in the world??!! Thank you, Bill.

I think your mom knows about your dancing and your wonderful, wonderful brood. It's sounds like we were both blessed by someone who had our backs no matter what. And isn't that the most powerful feeling there is?