One more thought, please, on mothers and their day

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 5/15/20

By now the cards are sent, the flowers are delivered and the presents are presented and it’s back into the box for Mother’s Day until 2021.

Some folks say that day is made just for Hallmark …

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One more thought, please, on mothers and their day

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Posted

By now the cards are sent, the flowers are delivered and the presents are presented and it’s back into the box for Mother’s Day until 2021.

Some folks say that day is made just for Hallmark and the FTD florists. Other folks say it’s a day that should be like all other days or that all other days should be like it, especially if we make a big deal out of remembering Mom.

Both of those ideas, I think, can be extremes and as is often the case on questions and issues the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Funny thing about mothers. About half the population can never be one but all the population has or has had one. The reality is some are better at it than others and for lots of reasons — ability, interest, other resources. And it’s also a scientific fact — backed up by lots of research by yours truly — that there is a world of difference between a “mother” and a “mama,” although they can be the same person.

A few flowers, a box of candy, a meal in a spiffy restaurant — except we can’t do that now with the effects of the coronavirus and the restaurant shutdowns and 6-feet of social distancing — are all nice but they don’t, and can’t, make up for a year or years of neglect or indifference or ignoring. What most mothers want, I believe, is not to be taken for granted and to be remembered and isn’t that what all of us want out of life?

And in that regard, if the flowers and the candy and the dinner are about all we do for those ladies the day likely is a burden and not a joy. But on the other hand, if we don’t do some of those things and treat that day on the calendar as just another day, well, then we’ve missed a great opportunity.

The real benefit of that day, like so many other occasions, is the chance they give us for some thought and reflection, sort of a checkup on how we’re doing. And there’s also the opportunity for the guest of honor to do a little self-check as well.

The Book tells us to honor our mothers (and fathers) and it also says parents shouldn’t provoke their kids. When my mother and I were both on this side of the Great Divide, I sometimes thought she did her best to provoke me so I, in turn, tried to turn the tables. Now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I’m convinced neither one of us was trying to do anything hateful or spiteful. Rather, it was just sort of part of our routine with each other.

I think about my mother a lot, that lady who was also my mama. And I miss her.

A great deal.

She had some big dreams and high hopes for me and my two older brothers. I like to think that some of what we did and some of how we turned out would and did please her. Toward the end of her life we got to spend large chunks of time, usually on a daily basis, together. I’m glad. I hope we didn’t disappoint her.

If yours is still around, no matter how it went, remember that Mother’s Day can be a 365-day event. And if you don’t think she did such a good job, also remember these two things: without her, you wouldn’t be here at all, and if you don’t think you turned out too well, you’ve got the opportunity to do better.

And remember what the late University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant used to say in the television commercial he made for long distance telephoning: “Call your mama.”

You won’t regret it.

Especially in these times when “social distancing” can sometimes mean “social isolation.”

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