Mother’s Day Weekend is a special weekend in our home. My mother lost her battle to cancer seven years ago and I will most certainly miss her presence, as I do my grandmothers and aunt. This weekend for me isn’t about being celebrated as my children and step children’s mom, but in taking time to appreciate those who mothered me. Throughout my life women with no responsibility to help mentor or teach me chose to, that is worth remembering and encouraging me to do the same. Todays electronic services make it easier than ever to video, email, call, or text someone who matters to you!
In my childhood, when a babysitter set of sisters out grew babysitting, their mother, Winnie Williams, took on the role. She taught me to sew, to cook, to play dominoes, and more than most other skills she added to my life, she taught me that I was worth loving. My Grandmother Geddie taught me that you can achieve your goals. A certificate based teacher for over forty years, she chose to go to college after fifty and graduated when her second oldest child did. Lillian Bell, a great-grandmother when we met, taught me the wisdom of spending a lifetime with someone you love as she lived the example with Mr. Bell for over seventy years. Bonnie Wiley, a high school teacher, and a neighbor taught me the value of embracing my creativity and choosing to understand that my parents were amazing, but not duplicates of who I could choose to be. Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, my graduate mentor, who never married nor had children, but raised countless women to be successful professionals and to stretch our minds. Thelma Wells, Mama T, who shares her wisdom and love across the miles, yet is ever present when it matters. There are countless “mothers” in my life today who continue to nurture and grow me as a person and as a mom myself now to four young adults.
Many folks we know are hurting this weekend. They have lost children, mothers, or wish they knew them. Others live with broken relationships that may never mend. Yet others remain childless despite loving children or have had to make a choice to not have them despite wanting motherhood. This weekend becomes a river of memories for those who are hurting and each celebration may open the old wounds again. Other mothers are facing Mother’s Day as a single mom in a recessive year and may feel the pinch of financial realities or the loneliness of feeling no one remembered them.
Let’s take time this weekend to text, call, email, visit, or write those who matter to us and those we may not even know who are before us. Elder neighbors and friends, widows and women who choose to mother despite not birthing or adopting children formally are all before us. Let’s celebrate the act of choosing to help a person grow…celebrate mothering.