There is something a bit intimidating about the blank page when your intention is to write about Mother's Day. It's a little like the challenge of finding the right sentiment to include in a Mother's Day card.
How do the words ever do it justice?
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How, in a sentence or two or even several, do you ever capture all that you want to say about your mother or the impact she has had on you; the debt that you owe her; yes, the conflicts you might feel; the lessons she's taught; the sacrifices she's made; the thank-yous she seldom sought and perhaps even more seldom received? How do you capture the pervasiveness of her presence; the pieces of her always in your head; the sense of her that will never go away even after she is long gone? How, ultimately, do you ever capture the love that you feel for her, have always felt for her, will always feel for her?
How do your words ever get all of that right?
Few mothers are perfect. As with everything else in life, there are some who do it well and some who don't and wide variations in how well or how poorly.
But almost all mothers wish they were perfect.
And almost all mothers care -- even those who seem sometimes to have a tough time showing it.
A lot of people think the world of their mothers and would do anything for them if they only had the time. If that's you, this Mother's Day, make a vow to make the time. Your mother won't be here forever. Don't regret the time you let slip away.
A lot of people think the world of their mothers but sort of take them for granted. If that's you, this Mother's Day, make a vow to find ways in the year ahead to please her. Surprise her with a card out of the blue. Do lunch just to do lunch. Pick up the phone once in a while and call.
Some people complain about their mothers. In some cases, they've got legitimate cause. In some cases, perhaps, it's just fashionable. If that's you, this Mother's Day, come to grips with it. Challenge your complaints and ask yourself how true or significant they are, try to imagine the view from her perspective. Forgive what you can. Let go what you can. Address what you can't forgive or let go of.
On this Mother's Day, whether your mother is living or dead, whether your mother is perfect or less so, try this exercise: Take out a pad of paper and write down your age.
And whatever the age you wrote, then write that number of things that you have to thank your mother for.
Will that list of gratitudes do her justice?
Will it ever capture all that she is and all that she means?
No, probably not.
But give it to her anyway. Or read it to her. Make that your Mother's Day gift.
It's not enough. But give it to her with all your heart and it will be enough for her.