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The importance of letting mom know
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Touching a mom’s heart on Mothers’ Day with memories of her devotion to her children over the years is as easy using as pen and paper or a computer key board.

It has traditionally become a day to send a card, flowers, dinner out at a nice but usually crowded restaurant for many is what we do on that special day in May.

Mothers everywhere are pretty much the same in their memory skills – they remember the little things they did for their children that they often feel no one else really noticed.  For them it was a simple but an emotional moment in time.  Things like teaching a child to tie a shoe, to brush their teeth for the first time, that first day in kindergarten, or the experience of having a three-year-old pick a tiny bouquet of flowers and of course the trips to the emergency room – the traumas where their kids inadvertently caused high levels of anxiety.

What many moms don’t realize is that their grown children have a lot of those same memories tucked back in the shadows of their minds that will only come forward on demand.  Busy schedules have kept the somewhat mundane happenings hidden from sight. They’re usually not brought out except at a funeral.

Use of pen and paper or the computer keyboard for just half an hour of deep thinking can provide an unbelievably dynamic gift of appreciation and love for many moms and grandmothers. Unlike a commercial greeting card,  it will probably be treasured in the heart and soul of that special lady on the receiving end to become an indelible memory tagged, “They remembered – I can’t believe it.”

Many sons and daughters still have the gift of time on their sides.

In my case – as in many others my age – I can only stand at my mother’s grave today and say a prayer.  She gave much, but she was generally misunderstood by her only son throughout her life.  She did get her share of flowers on special days, but I never wrote my thoughts out on paper that I’m sure would have made a tremendous difference in her feeling loved and appreciated.

A friend told me Saturday morning when I was visiting at Doctors Hospital that his mother – 87 years old – is in ICU in a hospital in his native country.  With her being heavily sedated, he is unable to make contact with his mom thousands of miles away.  The youngest of 10 children it was clearly weighing heavy on his heart as we chatted about the importance of Mothers’ Day. 

If I still had the opportunity to write such a letter to my late mother, it might read something like this:

Hi Mom…..

It’s Mothers’ Day today and it’s really time for me and other sons and daughters to seriously reflect on the hundreds of things you and other moms did for their children as they grew up into their teen years, into adulthood and beyond.

Standing at the foot of your grave, the most I can do today is to offer a prayer of thanks for your being there when I needed you.  Although we sometimes didn’t understand each other, you were focused on my best interests along with dad.

My memories go back to early Christmas celebrations when I was only four and five  years old,  recalling your concern over my severe earaches and taking care of me when I had my tonsils out as well as those bouts with chicken pox and measles.  You also had to deal with those endless headaches I had from food allergies and seeing me fall off my first bike in the middle of the street – a time before training wheels.

I remember my first day of school when you took me right to the first grade at Divine Savior – no kindergarten in the plan.  You would always see that I had clean clothes with the use of the old ringer washing machine that caught my arm one day giving you a scare when it squeezed it up all the way to the shoulder.

Another day I’m sure you will never forget was when I was about six and was playing Superman – running and diving onto the couch.  It was the crying that I’m sure caught your attention when I stood up with a pair of darning scissors jabbed into my lower stomach.  I remember they had apparently fallen between the cushions and couldn’t be seen by the “man of steel.”   It was good that my uncle had just stopped by to have a cup of coffee – his police ambulance was parked at the curb.  He and his partner were great with their first aid – saying the five-inch blade hadn’t penetrated the stomach lining – they didn’t think.

You should have been ready to turn in your “mom’s badge” of authority when you witnessed the throttle stuck wide open on a newly purchased motorcycle – roaring wide open out of the driveway from near the detached garage and into the street narrowly missing a Sycamore tree and a bay window before it flipped multiple times on a lawn across the street.  Luckily your only son survived the experience.  That must have taken a few years off of your life.

In my teenage years when I was “on deadline” washing photos in the service porch sink for the high school newspaper, you didn’t get too upset when I flooded the kitchen and the hallway into part of the rest of the house.  That had to be the ultimate demonstration in patience by a mom.

I know there are hundreds of other things where you went above and beyond that I didn’t notice, and that made indelible marks in your memory.  One that just came to mind were those fabulous rum cakes from the French bakery that you made sure were there for my birthdays.  And there was a special birthday celebration when I was seven and in the second grade where most of the kids from school were at our modest home on the outskirts of Los Angeles. 

Standing at your grave is certainly a source of reflection that has brought with it a litany of memories to digest.  This is the first time I have put my thoughts in writing and I’m sure glad I did, even in a form of memoriam.

Just think how our mothers and grandmothers have all given so much of themselves to their children.  My wife Mary Lou of 50 years is certainly no exception.  She is in Texas today because one of our sons needed her help.  And as she continually says, “I have to be there for my kids.”  She always has been and she always will respond physically and emotionally – an inspirational mom who plans ahead and rarely errs in the process.

Happy Mothers’ Day Honey – wish you were home.   But you’re spending your day being what emulates being the perfect mom where you saw a need.  God bless.