It’s Mother’s Day.
Who could miss the spam emails hawking flowers and e-Cards and other commercial ‘thank yous’? Who could miss the money changers in the Temple of the Heart short-changing affection as commodity?
It’s a crime, of course, for Mothers to be remembered affectionately only once a year– and that day goaded by self-serving vendors.
I think of mine often these days as my years start to rival the hills’. She’s been dead 21 years yet in some ways she is more a conscious part of my day now than when she was alive.
Her applique “Tree of Life” quilt, hand-stitched by fingers of consummate craft and love, hangs ceiling to floor on the wall outside my GSM office. Her quilt is quintessential ‘art’ in my book, not merely because of its perfection, but more because her heart and hands loved it into existence, brought it forth from raw material. I love her many creations. I love the creator more. Whatever gift of creativity I possess, whatever impulse there is in me to give form to my imagination, I owe to her.
After all these years I still talk to her when writer’s block bogs me down in a writing project. Talking to her, soliciting her creative influence, centers me, re-connects me to ancestors, to roots, to ‘home’ where foundations were laid. Consciously re-connecting with her creative model re-kindles my faith in my own creative juices . . . and gets me writing again!
She used to say: “Your children step on your shoes when they’re little; they walk on your heart when they grow up.”
I hope whatever grief I brought her heart was small compared to the warmth of hugs and affirmations of love I gave her. I didn’t fully appreciate her till I turned 40. But I made up for lost years after that! Every day became ‘Mother’s Day’ to this Man-Child.
And every day should be ‘Mother’s Day’ to those of us old enough, and life-bruised enough, to forgive parents for not being God. It is in that forgiveness of fallibility we find not only common humanity, but ground for gratitude, indebtedness, and celebration.
Flowers are wilted bribes if only once a year and taking her out to dinner is a sham if but a calendar date. What she wants to hear is you saying with depth of feeling: “Thanks for everything, Mom. You gave me life and so much more. I love you more than I can say!”
Joseph Harvill, publisher Great Scots Magazine