Can you believe this Sunday is Mothers Day already?? Sheesh!! Seems like just a few weeks ago it was 17 degrees outside. Well, as frogs say, “time’s fun when you’re having flies!!” Those of you who read my silly rants are aware that I took a little break. Wasn’t sure when to get “back in the saddle” with the Happy Friday!!! thing; but I figured a tribute to all the Mothers of the World could be a nice idea.
When writing about something as important as Mother’s Day, the task pretty much mandates a little research. Alright, maybe it’s not a mandate. But as I sat staring at the title that jumped out of my keyboard and onto the page, I couldn’t help being curious about where all this Mother’s Day stuff originated. Turns out there have been several holidays over the eons devoted to mothers; dating back perhaps thousands of years.
Here in the US, the holiday as we now know it was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908. Her efforts resulted in President Woodrow Wilson proclaiming it a national holiday in 1914. Unfortunately, the occasion quickly became commercially “interesting” to merchandisers; to the chagrin of Ms. Jarvis. Even she reportedly began to refer to Mother’s Day as a “Hallmark Holiday.”
Even so, God knows there is no more deserving soul to be honored than Mom. Your Mom, my Mom, Mother Nature, and so on. In the case of me and my siblings; I’m amazed that our mother made it through the ordeal of raising the four of us without completely going bonkers. Our parents started our family with me in 1954; and raised us through the 60s, and into the 70s. Early on, social norms meant that Dad was “king of the castle” and Mom was the keeper of the household. In other words, Dad earned the money and Mom did the best she could to keep us fed and clothed. Considering some of the “challenges” my Dad introduced into that equation she did a remarkable job.
Mom was the cook, bottle washer, laundry attendant and mending master. She knew how to comfort us when we were sad; and she knew how to put us in our place when we acted up. We were raised on Long Island, New York during a time when shows like “The Honeymooners” were still on TV. Even if you didn’t live in Brooklyn, people were not afraid to yell to get their point across. I once had a fond remembrance of when the four of us were driving her nuts; and Mom shouted, “YOUSE GODDAMN KIDS!!” Needless to say, she got our attention. When I mentioned it to my mother many years later, she quickly replied, “I never said that!!”
Of course not.
Anyway, she raised us the best she knew how. Did a darn good job of it too. Although her generation was not really the touchy-feely type; we knew that she loved us and would do anything in her power to make life better for us.
She must have been heart broken when I ran off with “that girl.” At the time, that was how Dad referred to my beautiful girlfriend. Relations between Dad and me were usually tense (to put it mildly), so leaving home at the ripe old age of 18 seemed like the natural next step for me. I joined the Air Force and was married to my sweetie all in the course of a year after graduation from high school. Things between Dad and me never really improved so we settled about 500 miles away and would visit maybe once or twice a year. It would be many years before I would really understand how difficult that must have been for my parents. My lovely wife and I raised a daughter and son; and now that they are grown and out of the house we get restless if we don’t see them for a week, much less a year or more.
Mom did the best she knew how. She was the product of a generation where the woman bowed to the husband, regardless of how deep the BS puddle became. Under Dad and Mom’s roof, we didn’t tell each other “I love you.” There was very little hugging, and if Dad was around, whatever you do, don’t cry “or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Deep down, however, we knew we were loved, albeit some of the the methods were a bit harsh.
Just like any new parents, my beautiful wife and I were determined to “do a better job than our parents did.” We raised our kids in a home where the words “I love you” were uttered every day, often multiple times. We had plenty of hugs to go around, plenty of time spent. And when I would get up on my high horse, my lovely wife would get a stick and knock me down from there. Well OK not literally, but you get the idea. I probably presented the same “challenges” into our new family that my Dad interjected into family life when we were being raised. One thing for sure, if you are interested in growing up, try having kids! I’m sure we made our mistakes, but we did some things right, also.
My Mom and Dad have both been gone for several years. Dad and I managed to patch things up before he left this life, thank God. And Mom did her best to cope with losing the love of her life until she finally left also. Funny how things evolve… as of this writing I can honestly say that I’ve flushed the bad memories and I’m cherishing the good ones.
So to my Mom, and to my lovely Wife Mom, and now to our daughter who’s also a Mom, and to all the Mothers in the Universe:
THANK YOU. GOD BLESS YOU. I LOVE YOU.
Well Mom, wherever you are, I hope you and Dad are having a Perfect Day.