When I was young, I thought I had all the answers. Sure I loved my mother and remember reciting a special poem for her in church on Mother’s Day. We also made sure to celebrate Mother’s Day by being especially nice to mom and giving her cards and little gifts.
Even as I approached those dreaded teen years and mom and I butted heads, on Mother’s Day I’d set aside my sometimes less than appreciative feelings and let her know “despite everything” I still loved her. (We come from solid Swedish stock and stubbornness doesn’t begin to describe us.) Once Mother’s Day was over for the year, all bets were off. What did mom know anyway? I could catalogue all the ways she irritated me. After all, I was from the new generation, and we would change the world with what I believed were new concepts.
As far as I was concerned, she was old-fashioned. No longer would any profession be denied me. I could be anything I wanted to be. Though I had already begun writing and felt a call in that direction, I also loved horses. One of my ambitions was to be the first women jockey. Never mind I didn’t live anywhere near a track. To be honest, both my parents encouraged me to develop all my talents, but I took any realistic look at my goals on their part as criticism and tuned them out-especially mom.
Only later, much later, was I able to appreciate who she was as a person, aside from that mom we gave special attention to on Mother’s Day. Back then, I saw a wife and mother, not the generous, talented, caring person she really was. How some of my comments must have hurt. Still, she loved me and encouraged me to be all I could be, even after I became disabled and dependent upon her for practically everything.
Mom gave me the courage to keep fighting when I wanted to give up. She helped me keep my dream alive not only of writing, but also of walking again. Mom had been through much in life, and she was a fighter. I got that from her.
It was only after I had my daughter that I fully understood all Mom had given me. It was too late then to put what I’d learned in a special Mother’s Day card, she was gone. Instead, I wrote her a belated Mother’s Day apology.
APOLOGY TO MOM
Mom, for every mean, nasty thing I ever said to you,
For saying, “You don’t understand!” when you said “No.” to me.
When I had a daughter, and she yelled at me,
“You don’t understand!” I smiled as I remembered you.
For with patience and prayer, you guided me to responsible adulthood,
Not just with words and example, but with the most important of all…
A mother’s unconditional love.
Don’t wait until your mom is gone before you express your appreciation. This Mother’s Day, tell her thanks for the many things she instilled in you.