By Ken DeLaat
This will be the 20th Mothers Day since my own Mom followed my Dad’s footsteps into ‘“the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns” as Shakespeare so eloquently described.
And during each of these annual tributes to those who have starred in this all consuming role my thoughts wander back to her and the ways she expressed her love for her children.
Like many parents she likely found raising little kids easier than teenagers. Those years when both parent and child redefine themselves and their relationship can be conflictual at times but other than a few rough patches she and my much older brothers survived and she honed her skills at mothering teens for use with my sister and I.
Being the youngest of four...
(and her and dad’s favorite but I’m not supposed to tell my much older siblings this so I hope they continue to refrain from reading my columns)
...it felt like there wasn’t much one could get by her. Almost like she knew what you were going to do or say before you did.
“About last night...the only thing that ran out of gas was that excuse years ago when your brothers tried to use it and no, you didn’t fall asleep at a friends house so, where were you and what were you doing?”
I credit her with having helped me develop a more active imagination.
She had her hands pretty full raising a daughter, my beloved sis who is just 14 months closer to being 100 years old than I. Being Mom to a daughter is not just a different role but a completely different script. They tangled more than we did which was great when due to my own behavior I needed to fly a bit under the radar, however they also had a rather special kind of closeness that came to fruition toward the end of adolescence.
These days my big sister has raised her children and shares with me the pleasure of having a quartet of grandkids. Our way, way, older brothers also have grandchildren and great grandchildren to boot given their advanced ages.
We don’t see each other much, just an annual reunion and maybe a rare dinner here and there. Our lives have transitioned many times since we all lived in the same household and each of us has gone in a variety of directions over the decades.
And though Mom has been gone from this earth these 20 years, she remains with us in many ways.
I once said her departure left us orphans but truth be told she comes alive each time I see one of my sibs. Regardless of what paths our lives have taken and no matter how different we might be from who we were then, we share a common bond.
There’s a bit of Mom in each of us.
And on those ever so rare occasions when we see each other it’s that first smile of recognition that seals that bond and forever solidifies who we are and from whence we came.
Some chosen words on Motherhood.
“Mother — that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.” ~T. DeWitt Talmage
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~Linda Wooten
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~Oprah Winfrey
“It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” ~From the television show The Golden Girls
“The precursor of the mirror is the mother’s face.” ~D.W. Winnicott
“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” ~Erich Fromm
“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.”~Lisa Alther
‘Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing.’ ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
“Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you're the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~Rachel Wolchin
“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” ~Meryl Streep
“She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them
along.” ~Margaret Culkin Banning
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”~Rajneesh
“One warm mother-kiss dried the little wet eyes and stilled the little troubled heart.” ~Jay Benson Hamilton
“Whosoever does not believe in the existence of a sixth sense has clearly not regarded their own mother. How it is they know all they know about you, even those secrets you locked away so tightly in the most hidden compartments of your heart, remains one of the great mysteries of the world. And they don't just know—they know instantly.”~Narissa Doumani
“I don't believe in love at first sight because my mother started loving me before seeing me.” ~ Luffina Lourduraj
“Mothers always worry. There’s no off switch.” ~ Priscille Sibley
And a personal favorite...
“No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints.”~Edwin Hubbell Chapin.
Nicely put Edwin.
And Happy Day to Moms everywhere.
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