What’s your mother’s name?
With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve been reflecting on how much this question really matters. It’s not that a mother’s name is particularly important unto itself; it’s more that the name embodies a woman, a woman with a unique story, a woman who no matter what story she lives every day is deeply connected with her children (and maybe even children that she has not physically given birth to).
My mother’s name is Margaret.
I won’t tell you her middle name, because to put it mildly, it’s not her favorite. It’s beautiful though, and it reflects perfectly this remarkable woman who I have been privileged to call “Mom” my whole life.
My husband has lost two moms to cancer. His biological mom, Kay, died when he was 14 years old, and his second mom, Viola, died almost two years ago while I was pregnant with Edison.
I didn’t get a chance to know Kay, but I’ve seen her reflected on my husband’s face. I’ve heard stories about her and I know she loved well. She left an undeniable mark on my husband and his sisters just as Viola did, just as my own mom continues to leave on me.
There are times in my life I will never forget because of who my mom is, and because of how she loves me. She is a constant creative, loving and very wise influence on my life, and I continue to learn so much from her.
Even now as I watch her take care of her mother through some incredibly difficult circumstances, she shows me another beautiful facet of Love.
It might sound weird after what you have just read . . . but, I always struggle with Mother’s Day.
How in the world do I condense what my mom meant to me, and has meant over the years, into one day? How do I respect and honor her story as a woman, her life adventure of love? Is it even possible?
In 1914, a joint resolution from Congress, signed by President Wilson, established a national holiday in the U.S. Every year on the second Sunday in May, we honor our mothers.
This sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? A special day just for mothers, a day when moms around the country get breakfast in bed, hand-designed cards, maybe even spa treatments to thank them for living their story as a woman with grace and dignity and love.
To me, as a mom of a 14-month-old and a step-mom of an 11-year-old, it sounds pretty good. But I wonder how much of this day actually takes away from all the other days of the year.
Husbands, fathers and maybe even brothers or sisters run around trying to help children find ways to express their love on this special day and it becomes more about pressure to perform on a special day rather than a daily expression of love. Is this really what mothers want?
I ask this question mostly because I read recently that Mother’s Day is the second largest gift-giving holiday in America. That’s right, only Christmas is bigger from a retail perspective. I read that in the U.S. we will spend more than $14 billion this year to tell our mothers how much they mean to us.
On one level I think about that and go yes, moms are that important. Then on another level I wonder is this really the best way to honor my mom? Or are there thousands of little ways I can honor her every day, that in the long run will help her understand better just how much God has done through her in my life?
So this Mother’s Day as you think about the women in your life, think about how to tell them every day what a difference their story is making.
You might even send these special moms a link to the following slide show and ask them to honor these women by making a donation every month to support mothers around the world who have never even heard of Mother’s Day.
By doing this, the love you have experienced through your mother and the other moms in your life multiplies exponentially around the world. You and your mom continue to be a reflection of God’s life-giving miracle every day of every year.
Blessings, and have a happy Mother’s Day every day of the year.