Sunday, May 11, 2014


I really did try to let slip Mother's Day unnoticed; I truly did. Yet, with all of the well-wishers from friends and loved ones who know I have borne no children, it's rather hard for me to do. You see, twelve years ago this weekend, I was making funeral preparations for my own mother. I do believe I can be forgiven if I choose to let this one day of the year go by unnoticed.

Two pilots for parents and I loathe flying, but then, my father used to tell people he played the comb, when asked whose side had the musical talent. The answer: him; his ear was uncanny.

But to do so would be to steal the blessings of those who have chosen to honor me, as their mother, even if it is in just the spiritual sense. So, because I have spent part of this past year fighting for better medical treatment for a loved one, I recognize and honor his gift to me. Because I have spent part of this past year fretting and crying that a loved one would not return from the hospital, I recognize and honor his gift to me. Because I have spent much of this past year caring for and easing the fears of a loved one who does not always understand what is going on, and because I will protect and care for him unto his death, I recognize and honor his gift to me.

I would do so for anyone I loved dearly and there are others among my scope who count so, but this one is the one whose health is worsening day by day, week by week. The one who is scared, but does not show it. The one who in many ways tries my patience, but still, for all of that, is loved all the more.You cannot quantify love, anymore than you can quantify infinity.

There is grace in this world, if we care to stop and quell our lesser natures and allow that balm into our lives. There is redemption in caring for our fellow beings that is not found in any work, avocation or pastime. When we realize that yes, we are all connected, as horrible as that may seem at times, and as much of a cliché it may sound, it is nonetheless, true. When we look into another's eyes, we see ourselves in some measure; we see our own mortality and we must not back away from that, because to do so is a supreme act of cowardice.

My time on this earth will end, as did my mother's; all too soon. I do believe though, that in her spirit and in her grit, determination and passion for life, I have come to fulfill the greatness my father wanted for me. In this, I have succeeded in my life. I've done two things for a living and done them quite well. I do this now, as I have always written. I am the person my mother wanted me to be and then some. I have her grit and her courage; her faith, fidelity and love that never dies. I have people around me who love me unreservedly and I love them in ways I could never have imagined; ways that are redemptive, caring, forthright and yes, at times, tough. But I will be forever grateful to the mother who taught me how to be one, even if the children I raise are not my own. Happy Mother's Day, Ma. I miss you so very, very much.

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