Friday, May 06, 2005

Mother's Day Tears and Laughter

"A mother is a mother still, The holiest thing alive." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Sometimes the laughter in mothering is the recognition of the ironies and absurdities. Sometime, though, it's just pure, unthinking delight." Barbara Schapiro

I wasn't sure how to approach Mother's Day this year. There's such misery and death in the world, it hurts my heart. I was gearing up to share my anguish over so many for whom this Mother's Day is a grim reminder of devastating loss instead of a happy reason to celebrate. I wanted to do something to help, say something to ease their pain.

But then the flowers came. From my 21-year-old son, who's away at college. With a note that's an instant classic, priceless, one for the books. It made me laugh out loud in my kitchen and filled my eyes with tears of joy and gratitude. And I realized I haven't laughed like that in a long time. I need a break. Just for a day, a weekend, I need to stop and -literally- smell the roses.

So I'm going to honor those mothers who grieve the loss of a child not only on Mother's Day but every day of their lives, by heeding their heart-rending advice: don't take life and family for granted, love your kids mightily, spend time with them, cherish every precious moment. You never know when fate might snatch it all away.

They're so right. All parents know how quickly childhood goes by, how in a blink they're grown and gone. At each milestone -the first birthday, starting school, a bar mitzvah, high school graduation, leaving for college- we remind ourselves and other parents to enjoy it while we can. But then daily life gets in the way, jobs and responsibilities deflect our attention, sap our energy -- and priceless time slips away.

We mustn't let that happen. It's an insult to every mother who would trade any promotion, appointment or night's sleep for even one more day of her child's life.

If we're smart we'll grab this holiday with both hands, celebrate our children and our own mothers. Let them know how special they are, and how much their lives have brightened and enriched our own.

Oh by the way, the note that came with the flowers from my son:

Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you and I'll see you in a week.

P.S. I paid for the flowers with your credit card because I left mine at a bar the other night. Don't worry, I'll pay you back when I get home.

Just come home and give your mother a kiss. That's all the payment I need.

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Blogger David Goldenberg said...

What a great sentiment! The best I've read about Mother's Day!

11:43 PM  

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