Take away the sentimentality attached to greeting cards and flowers on Mother’s Day and what’s left is a relationship. Mother’s Day is about a relationship — a bond of love between a mother and her child, no matter how old he or she may be. Of course, that relationship changes throughout life depending upon circumstances. But what never changes, no matter what, is the bond of love that exists between us and the person who gave us life on this earth.
As children, we take our mothers for granted because they are always there for us doing some of life’s most thankless and routine tasks. As teenagers, we pull away, seeking our independence as we begin to strike out on our own. As young adults, we focus our attention on other relationships, hoping for a new bond of love of our own making. As maturing adults, we are distracted by our own obligations and responsibilities, promising ourselves we’ll connect with mom as soon as we can.
And as our own families begin to leave the nest, we realize that a whole lifetime has gone by and that energetic, omnipresent, loving woman has grown old and gray and fragile. She never stopped thinking about us, caring for us, dreaming for us, doing for us — that is the one relationship and bond that carries us throughout life, even when we might not have been conscious of it. Always there. And then she is gone, all too soon.
No one likes to think about the end. No matter how independent or strong we fancy ourselves to be, no matter how many people fill up our days, it is painful to contemplate life without mom, without this relationship and bond of unconditional love, without this great gift of God to us.
So don’t. Don’t spend time worrying about the end. Turn your thoughts to mom now. Pick up the phone. Get in the car. Go visit. Say the words she needs to hear and you need to say. Put your arm around her and kiss her and kiss her again. She’s your mom and she loves you more than anyone on the face of the earth. Love her back regardless of past forgetfulness on your part. When you look into those beautiful eyes that have never stopped looking at or looking for you, when you hold her close and say “I love you, mom,” nothing else matters.
Then give her the card and flowers. The flowers will wilt. The card she’ll keep in a drawer and look at when you’re not around. But the love you express, that will last forever — while she’s here and even when she’s gone.