According to the calendar, tomorrow is Mother's Day. Since 1941, the second Sunday in May has been reserved for acknowledging and giving thanks to women who love, tend and care for others. North American tradition dictates flowers and cards to be bought, brunch to be shared, and time together to be spent with multi-generational family levels. Telephone lines predictably become jammed with the multitude of long distance calls from offspring reaching across the miles to mothers in other geographical locations.
This year, in the unique time of Covid-19, such close-proximity traditions are likely to go unrealized. We all have heard the kindly worded reminders to keep our distance with those beyond our own household. Our proverbial 'bubbles' are not yet ready to expand, even in the name of Mother's Day.
Are such traditions, however, really necessary for one specific calendar day? Should not mothers be reminded on a much more regular basis of just how much they are loved? If not, then they should be!
I admit, for many years, there was little communication between my mother and myself. A once- or twice-a-year phone call, from some far off international locale, had me offering a quick greeting and vague update before signing off, sending her into yet another emotional tailspin. Extenuating circumstances aside, I am not proud of these actions. Great pain and emotional turmoil from my absence was, for years, inflicted on both my mother and father. They had, through no fault of their own, no clue what was really going on in my life, nor physically where I was; they were not allowed to have such personal information. Fortunately, times changed and I was offered the opportunity to begin rectifying the matter, and to prove that I most certainly did want my parents in my life.
Since that time, I have cherished chatting on the phone and spending time together in either my home or, more frequently, their home. Mum and I have even travelled together, just the two of us, and got along famously! There has been no hesitation between Mum, Dad and myself to pick up, years later, right where we left off. My parents welcomed me back into the family fold without question, never demanding an explanation nor making me feel guilty for the past. All that mattered was the present, and the fact that my children and I were back in their lives.
It is for that unquestioning love that I am eternally grateful. I do not require a specific day in May for which to tell my mother (or, a specific day in June to tell my father) just how much she means to me, and that I love her. I try to do that every time I call them, or see them. Of course, I will call tomorrow, on Mother's Day, but it will be more of a 'bonus' rather than a single once-a-year expression of love.