Friday, May 10, 2013

what i want for mother's day

What I Want for Mother's Day:

A hand-written note addressed to God, titled "Why My Mother Deserves a Place in Heaven," written by each of my children attesting to the fact that, even though I may have messed up, I did the best I could and I did it out of the goodness of my heart. Human error is a fact of life.

To celebrate this post I have included a snippet from the novel that is still moldering on a shelf in my study, pleading with me to revise it so I can put it out there again. This scene speaks about the sacrifices that mothers make for their children...the ones that go unnoticed:

Product: Mother Love: A Prayer Book for Christian Women    "When Mother first learned she was sick, three months passed before she summoned the nerve to share the news with me. At first, she’d felt confident that it would pass so there was no reason to concern me with her troubles. But when her doctors told her there was nothing more they could do for her, she had no choice. This was the latest chapter in The-Book-of-Motherly-Love that she had penned along with every other mother in the history of the universe:
  • Chapter 1: Don’t burden your children with your problems.
  • Chapter 2: Sacrifice everything for them.
  • Chapter 3: Suffer in silence.
  • And the latest chapter, “Don’t let it show."
     My mother is the one who wrote the section praising the glories of chicken wings, titled “Do Whatever It Takes." When I was a child and money was tight, she would claim the chicken wings for herself, as though this was an exotic delicacy that only an adult could that I could have the breast.

Then she would push herself away from the table and pat her stomach insisting that she was too full for that I could have the last piece of pie...when she hadn’t had anything to eat at all. A couple of lousy chicken wings. I know now that there is nothing about a chicken wing to savor—there is nothing to it at all—because I’ve done the same thing for my family when unexpected company dropped in and there wasn’t enough to go around.

     Mothers make a million sacrifices for their children without asking for anything in return. They do it quietly and joyfully in order to spare their children from hunger or thirst or worry or grief, knowing that they will do the same someday should the need arise.

     So, true to character, when Mother got sick she kept it to herself. She sat there alone when Doctor Kaplan explained the test results to her.
She dragged herself to the first couple of treatment sessions and bore the side-effects in seclusion. It wasn’t until her doctors insisted that she finally called me.

     “Hello? Katie, dear?”

     “Hi, Mom.”

     We shared the usual pleasantries. Yes, she was still meeting her friends for bridge and, in fact, they were getting together for lunch on Tuesday. They were having a little cold snap and she thought she might need to cover her roses because they'd just started to bud. Yes, Joan’s son was tending to the yard. He’d had to repair one of the screens out back after a branch came down in the wind last week. And, yes, Maggie came every day to help with the house and meals. Then there was a pause.
     “Katie, dear?” Her voice cracked.

     “Mom? What is it, Mom?”

     “Katie, sweetheart?  We need to talk.”

     Oh, dear God."
If you are a mother, or a mother-to-be, this post is for you.

If you still have your mother, or miss your mother, this post is for you.

If you have never borne a child, if you have lost a child, or you fear for your child, this post is for the burden you bear...the one that goes unnoticed.

ps.: I love you, too.




  1. Now you made me cry. I think of my mother never buying herself new clothing. Happy Mother's Day to you.

    1. Thanks, and happy Mother's Day to you, too. Maybe I really should get back to work on that story...

  2. What a wonderful post! I hope your kids read your blog, and you get those handwritten notes you want. And yes! Do bring that novel out of retirement.

    Happy Mothers' Day!

  3. Thanks, Susan. Have a wonderful day, too.

  4. Parenting is a tough job where we never know for sure what's going to work. And it is a life of sacrifice if we're doing it right. Oh, and my wife always prefers the chicken wings for real.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  5. Aww! Such a sweet and touching and a bit sad post! I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.