It's not very hard to think about being a mother on Mother's Day, but it is a little uncomfortable. Maybe because I still can't believe I'm old enough to be a mother--five times! (Imagine how I feel on Grandparents Day.) Maybe I don't feel I've been kind enough, strong enough, smart enough, patient enough...well, you see where I'm going; maybe there are too many reasons I don't see how I could possibly deserve my own day. You should have to be a very wise person to have your own day--and the things I am wise about certainly don't deserve a day; maybe those things deserve a delete button.
There are and have been many women in the world whom I'd choose to be my mother for Mother's Day; they could take turns, like getting on that special horse on the Merry-Go-Round. And having had a child isn't a requirement. Mother Theresa, for example. Now how amazing would that be? I would never go hungry spiritually or physically. Or Erma Bombeck? I'd laugh at least once every day. I wanted to be Laura Petrie in a white sweater and black capri pants; she was a great mom, so vulnerable and apologetic, "O-h-h, R-o-b!" Patti LaBelle? Oh my gosh, I've read that she loves to cook for people and even cooked for Elton John when they were both young and broke and beginning to fly. I imagine that the music in the air of my dreams would be more than enough to live on with Miss Patti in the picture.
I would be blessed to have been the daughter of any of my daughters. (The thought creeps them out---it is kind of weird and you can't think about it too much.) In spite of me and all of my mistakes, misjudgements, precautions, my five daughters have great hearts and great souls. They would have loved me, I know. Just like I know Jesus loves me.
So, in order to have had my mom-daughters, I am grateful for my own mother, Preta. She was, in my and my therapist's opinion, overly harsh--Preta definitely didn't play. I can say, however, that she didn't let anyone mess with me or not let me have my chance. I think she was a little disappointed that I never "took my shoe off" and fought back. She was at some times adored, other times hated, and most often feared; many of her ways I did not pass on. But in her last hours of life, she gave me something silent and powerful: she hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek and put the blanket over her head to go to sleep. I never saw her alive again.
I am grateful for Peter's mother, too. Margaret. Without her, there wouldn't be such a kind and good, loyal and loving man who helped my mom-daughters even be in the world. She seemed a bit like my favorite TV mom, Leave it to Beaver's mom. I've missed her. She always listened to my insanely goofy calls (and she'd call every week) with such respect. Even when I'd complain about her son, she'd take my side! She always welcomed me into her world. She liked happiness.
They both told me, at various times, that I was a good mother. Perhaps it's the children who should make that call. I did try, though; and it was often the best thing I ever did. So, maybe we don't need a "Mother's Day" or a "Father's Day" - there's too big a chance of missing someone very important to be grateful for who may not be technically a mother or father at all, much less our own. But they cared like one, a good one. Maybe we just need a "Those Who Cared About Me Day." For me, there are a lot of you out there. Happy Day!