Reflections: Mother’s Day memories are more than just sent cards

Mother’s Day. There have been the good ones, the bad ones. The happy ones. The sad ones. Mother’s Day. Over the years that particular Sunday has given me a variety of things to remember.

There were the times when I was a little girl and my daddy and I would go and shop for something for Mom. A box of candy was always a good choice, Dad would say, “because then we get some.” He’d often buy her roses. Her name was Rose.

When I was in school, the whole class would make cards for their moms. Sometimes we worked for days on little homemade gifts.

Mom always fussed over them, at least a bit. When she was my Brownie Scout leader, we made gifts in our troop as well, but it hardly seemed worth it to me. Mom, you see, always knew what she was getting, and that took the fun out of giving it.

As I got older, buying her a card and getting her a little something. Actually, for both of us. I got her a card and a gift because I wanted to, and she made it clear she wanted me to. There was usually an unsaid “or else” attached. You couldn’t hear it. But you sure could feel it.

Over the years, Mother’s Day took on a new meaning. First, I had to deal with the loss of my first baby. I was 19. I was heartbroken. I had been bedridden for six weeks, hospitalized for five, and so deathly sick throughout the whole time, but desperately wanting to hold my first child. Now I look back and know at 19, I was still a child myself.

Mother’s Day meant so much the year my first child was born. A son. And the second. A daughter. And a third, another son. To this day they are such blessings. Seems they live so far away, and yet they never fail unfortunately was left undone.

And so it is, I wish those I hugged before could be hugged this day again.

Then came the grandchildren. The youngest of all, called on his mom’s cell phone Sunday. Mother’s Day. He called Granny and I was thrilled. His mama didn’t share the thrill. He got her phone and somehow called here and chatted a bit before she caught up to him.

Then there was the year, just a couple three back, when I went through some old boxes filled with old stuff. Drawings my kids did when they were in kindergarten. Way back when. Note to their mom, cards made for Mother’s Day. With tear-filled eyes I read and wished, and thought and smiled.

A bit later, I discovered in some of my mom’s things I brought home after she passed away a couple years back, cards I had sent her a long time ago. There were times I thought we were so different. But times when I knew we were so very much alike.

In those boxes there was a book. You know the kind. One where there are questions, and spaces for the answers to be written in, sharing a bit of a glimpse of your life for those “some day.”

This day I read from the book given her so long ago. In it she had answered a question here, another there. But never had she answered all the pages, each question. Instead she skipped around. I laughed at some responses. Pondered others. Dripped a tear on one.

Asked who it was that taught her to pray, and what was the first prayer she learned. She said it was her mother. My grandma. I never thought about my grandma praying. I don’t remember seeing her fold her hands except when they ached so much she said after crocheting for hours.

But mom remembered.

She said her mom taught her, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

Again, my tears let their whereabouts be known as I read those words in her handwriting.