Today in the United States we celebrate motherhood and womanhood. This talk seemed an appropriate fit for the day as it celebrates both and focuses our efforts toward our ultimate goal.
by Marilyn D. Lee
Ever since D and I have been married,
in my heart a message for you I’ve carried.
Now that Mother’s Day is coming around
I’ve decided it’s time to put some of it down.
I haven’t known you for very long as time goes,
but you are a good mother as everyone and Heaven knows.
How do I know these things are true?
Three wonderful children were guided by you.
D is the one that I’m thinking about –
he is the greatest man without a doubt.
You’ve taught him very well the things he should do.
As a husband and a father he is the very best.
His love, kindness and manliness have stood the test.
All these qualities and many others that he has
are all because of you, a very special lass.
I have always told him he is a very gentle man.
That’s because his mother is a very gentle woman.
At this time I’d like to say something long overdue
for raising such a special son I say thank you.
written for Mother’s Day 1973
© 2014 ck’s days
I’m not a big fan of Mother’s Day. It’s been my goal to avoid it for awhile now. For many years I have taken a weekend trip to get away. It’s the same philosophy I use on my birthdays. If I’m not home, it can’t find me and doesn’t exist. It never happens.
First Mother’s Day: check. I handled it by running away for the day.
First Memorial Day: check. I handled it with routine.
We made our yearly pilgrimage to the cemetery today. I’ve always wondered if Memorial Day is recognized the same in the big city as it is in the small town. My guess is, yes. A city, after all, is made up of blocks. A zip code may be in Metropolis but life is lived in the neighborhood.
In a small town, people start gathering at the cemetery in the morning. Since I have fallen in with morning people, we were the first to arrive. Mini-reunions are held as fellow grievers arrive armed with cleaning supplies, flowers, and memories. When the weather permits, we can linger and chat. Today was not one of those days. The wind made it bitter cold. It was all we could do to shine the stones and tether the flowers.
In addition to the normal gravesites, we now have an extra one to visit. Mom’s favorite thing was having her family surround her. She still has that power to bring us together as we gathered around her tombstone. Dad worked hard to make her stone shine. His name is already on it. I asked him if it made him nervous to shine his own name. He just laughed. Much to dad’s disgust, mom’s death year has not been added on the stone, yet. I say, if there’s no end date maybe that means she’s still here. That’s okay with me.
We visited the other cemetery to place flowers on the graves of mom’s grandmas. Even though one died before I was born and the other died when I was too young to remember. Mom loved her grandmas and she always placed flowers on their graves. They were important women in her life and helped shaped who she was. So, we took flowers and placed them on their graves, too. Perhaps someday we won’t. For now though, we will.
This afternoon we had a family BBQ. Well, a Wyoming BBQ. We cooked the burgers inside where it was warm. The burgers were good. The conversation was enjoyable. We laughed and had a good time. For me though, I kept thinking of our Memorial Day a year ago. Mom just found out the CLL cells had come back and started treatments again. She was sick but she came home for the weekend for Bubba’s graduation. I had no idea she’d leave us in six months. Last Memorial Day was the start of a very hard and trying summer. But I’d do it again if I could spend a little more time with mom.
So, I survived my first Mother’s Day and Memorial Day without my mother. Whose bright idea was it to put those two commemoration days in the same month? Not cool. Do the days get any easier? Or has May become a bitter month?
As I tell Lyn, take a deep breath and remember, you got this. I got this. I know I do. Another deep breath.