Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Card

For the past several weeks, the newspaper has been filled with articles and ads about how to celebrate Mother's Day - advertisers confident that they are selling "the perfect gift" that every mother wants and needs, deals on meals for those that want to keep mom out of the kitchen on her special day, and for the traditionalists, everyone from the city's finest florists to the local grocery stores all have a beautiful selections of flowers guaranteed to make every mom smile.

For me, Mother's Day is a non-celebration. I can't bring myself to call it a holiday. My mother died in 2006 so I no longer find myself in the card section of the store trying to find THE card, you know the one with that perfect sentiment. My kids are at the age where mom is more of a nuisance than something to be celebrated. (Why do I have to buy a card or a gift for someone who, despite the fact that I am eighteen or twenty-one, still nags me about studying for tests, cleaning up after myself, and taking my future seriously?)

Kids tend to forget that moms once were kids and had these very same feelings. So, I am willing to pull up my Big Mama panties and trust that they will realize someday that despite all my nagging and other faults, which they can enumerate on demand, there is no one on this planet who loves them more than I do.

I find myself this year wishing that I could send a Mother's Day card to a special woman whom I have never met, my husband's mother. Though she passed away long before he and I married almost a year ago, she has had a huge influence on my life. She raised her son to be a loving and responsible husband. She taught him the value of family. And, in her unique way, instilled in him a steadfast faith.

In many ways I feel like I know her very well. I have heard wonderful stories about her, seen pictures of her from when she was a child, read letters that she and Weber exchanged with one another during his one visit to summer camp and when he was away at college, and i live in the house that for many years she made home.

Though we are remodeling the house and now making it our home, she is still very much here with us - in her paintings that hang on the wall, the side table that sat by her chair, and the tin measuring cup that I used last night to pour rice. But most importantly, she is here in her son - in that sparkle in his eye when he talks of her tenacity, the tears of joy when he speaks of her love, and in the spirit with which he embraces life.

If I could send a card, I would have a tough time finding just the right one on the store racks. A generic Hallmark poem will not suffice here.

I wish I could say "thank you" to you face to face. I wish that I could look you in the eye and promise you that I will love your boy as much as you do. Since I can't, I will trust that you feel my love for you as we feel your continued love here with us.

Happy Mother's Day.

Is it OK to call you Mom?