I like to think that this column is maybe a tiny moment of levity in a world that is growing increasingly darker, filled more and more with anger, hostility, anxiety and sadness. I’m feeling all those things, too; I can assure you. However, my usual intention in this space is to hopefully put some smiles on faces.
Not so, this week. Let’s get kinda sad, together.
Oh, hey. Still reading? Awesome. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and to every mother reading this, I sincerely lift you all up and celebrate you, on this day and every other one. Even Leap Days. Especially Leap Days.
Moms do no short amount of superhuman tasks each day, like leaping tall buildings (sometimes Lego, sometimes not), lifting heavy objects (sometimes us dads, conked out on the couch, sometimes not) and outrunning the smallest, most determined forces of nature you can imagine, such as a toddler dashing into a crowd of strangers because they saw something shiny they wanted to pick up and probably put into their mouths.
For all those about to Mom, we salute you.
Sunday is also tinged with sadness for so many of us, too. I heard it called on a podcast, Motherless Day. For all of you, I see you, I hear you. I am you.
This Sunday is my second Mother’s Day without a mom to call or text, to throw together a haphazard celebration at her house, to give a Hallmark card with a gift certificate to Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Not that I am without any moms to celebrate in my life. I’ve got family, a sister, sisters-in-law, aunts, my mother-in-law, and heck, I’m even married to a mom (sweetest Annette, mother to our children and – I can now write this aloud without worrying about offending someone who once birthed me – the best mom I know). Additionally, I have some friends, co-workers and most of my favorite writers, who are all moms. I can’t get you all cards or gifts or money orders, unfortunately. Only because I can’t afford to, not because I don’t want to; truly, I do.
My own mom, I don’t have. And that’s still difficult for me to process, even a year and several months later.
I can't remember how many times I felt my cell phone vibrating in my pocket at an inopportune time, like while changing a tire on the side of the Interstate in the dead of winter, just so I can get home for Christmas, and feeling irritated by the caller ID screen reading “Mom.” And now, that’s the thing I maybe miss the most. The check-ins, the solicitation of life advice not asked for, and not always appreciated. The concern, the guilt, the person who worried about me more than anyone else ever has or ever will.
Now, I only said “kinda sad” earlier because we’re not trying to diminish anyone’s Mother’s Day celebrations. Quite the opposite.
I’d encourage anyone who’s read this far to please embrace this Mother’s Day for what it is: a finite resource. You don’t know how many Mother’s Days you’ll get with your mom. That’s not wholly negative. Rather, it’s an opportunity to see how special the day is.
Almost as special as our moms are. Give your mom a hug, if you can. If you can’t, hold just as tight to all the other moms in your life. By letting them know how much you appreciate them and their influence on your character as a person, you are similarly honoring the care and concern your mother has directed toward you.
Happy Mother's Day, all you moms, wherever you are. And to my Mom, wherever you are. We love you.