Mother's Day Editorial: Remember to let Mom know you love her

Updated 5/13/2018 1:10 PM
  • Mom deserves to be celebrated today - and every day.

    Mom deserves to be celebrated today - and every day.

Reprinted from May 8, 2016.

There are few mothers with perfect skills, but so many, the utter vast majority, with perfect intentions.

As the great author Pearl S. Buck said, "Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same."

You can't really understand how pervasive the selflessness of parenting is until you become one. And then once that's happened, you tend by definition to be so preoccupied with the welfare of your own offspring that you may seldom stop to realize that the way you feel about your child is the way your mother feels about you. The same protective instincts, the same dreams for the future, the same worries about the dangers, the same wishes for a life of happiness. The same unconditional love, a love that shines even when poignantly unrequited.

"The heart of a mother," 19th century French novelist Honore de Balzac wrote, "is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."

Your mother made mistakes. You make them, too.

Does your heart offer the same forgiveness?

We know of mothers who suffer from a sort of neglect. They don't suffer from a lack of love, but a lack sometimes of it being recited.

This is not an unnatural thing. In some ways, it's almost universal. We have at least in part committed the same emotional neglect ourselves. As a child, the world centers around you and you assume in many respects that your love for your mother is understood. As an adult, the world centers around your family or your career or both, and again, it is easy to assume your love for your mother is understood.

She doesn't need to hear it, you think; she knows it.

And she probably does know it. But she needs to hear it, too.

A mother tends to be like that. She doesn't like to put her children out. She doesn't wish to impose. But the note out of the blue, the unexpected phone call, the slightest present, the drawing from the child or grandchild.

These things make her day. These things set her off in delight. They really do. You can provide her with no greater gift.

We also tend to think our mothers will always be there to hear these things. But it is the way of the world that they won't be.

"We never think that our mothers will die," the Nigerian poet Ben Okri reflected. "It was like suddenly an abyss opened at my feet. I was standing on nothing. It was the strangest thing. Her passing ripped the solidarity out of the world."

Don't end up like so many of us, wishing we had said more, given more, been more overt and frequent with our kindnesses. Be there for her the way she always has been there for you. Remind yourself always of this wonderful observation from blogger Robert Brault: "If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been."

We adore that reminder and the reassurance it provides. It is Mother's Day. Celebrate your mom today.

And on every day that you can.

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