We haven’t always had an official day when we acknowledge, thank and celebrate mothers. There were various observances during the 1870’s and the 1880’s in the U.S., but the first ‘celebration’ was in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, in Grafton West Virginia. Even so, it took six more years before it became a recognized holiday.
I’ll wager if they’d had any idea how much money they’d make from the sale of flowers, chocolates and cards it would have happened a hell of a lot sooner.
Bet you also didn’t know Mother’s Day isn’t celebrated on the same day everywhere, either. It begins on the second Sunday of February in Norway. And, depending on where in the world you live, you could be thanking and spoiling Mom on March 3, 8, the fourth Sunday in Lent, March 21, March 25, April 7, the first Sunday in May, May 8, May 10, the second Sunday of May like we do, May 15, May 26, May 27, the last Sunday of May, May 30, June 1, the first Sunday of June, the second Sunday of June, the last Sunday of June, August 12, August 15, the second Monday of October, October 14, the third Sunday of October, November 3, the last Sunday of November, December 8, or December 22.
Of course if you really love your mother, you can always celebrate all of the above. If you did I bet you’d be able to negotiate a volume discount from your favourite florist.
My mother was addicted to chocolate. She would have been happy to celebrate over and over again. “To hell with the flowers”, she would have said. “Bring on the bonbons!” Her favourites were chocolate covered cherries and chocolate covered ginger. Although I can’t honestly remember her ever turning down a cream centre, or a caramel, or a mint, or a nougat, or even a good, old-fashioned O’Henry bar, for that matter.
Just ask anyone who knew her. When my friend, Marilyn, came to help move her from one apartment to another in the retirement residence she wanted to live in, she (Marilyn) found stashes of chocolate bars everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Under the kitchen sink, hiding behind detergent and rags. Under the bathroom sink, lurking behind bars of soap and bathroom tissue and Kleenex. In her night table drawers, in the top of her closet, in pockets and handbags.
She (my mother) was diabetic. When Marilyn tossed the stash of contraband into a huge garbage bag, the look on my mother’s face was priceless. Part indignant, part amused, part about-to-burst-into-tears.
Nothing if not resilient, less than forty-eight hours later, my business partner and I were sitting on the terrace of a cafe, enjoying a bit of a coffee break. Suddenly we saw my mother, with her PSW (personal support worker), heading for a convenience store. To do what, you’re wondering?
To buy a chocolate bar, of course. It was only when my mother had half the Mars bar stuffed in her mouth, she noticed us. She grinned and kept chewing. We just cracked up. She was incorrigible.
No, I haven’t inherited her sweet tooth. So I’d prefer the flowers. Not that I’m a mother. But I’d still prefer the flowers.
Okay, okay, okay. Today’s post is about mothers, not me. Sorry.
Mothers deserve our love and attention and best wishes and cards and flowers and chocolates and gifts. All through the year, not just on Mother’s Day. They lug as around in their bellies for nine months. They suffer through nausea and back aches and fatigue and stretch marks and hemorrhoids and droopy bladders and contractions and sore boobs and dirty diapers and vomit and colic and teething and drool and sleepless nights and exhaustion. And that’s just for starters.
The job’s never done. Your children are always your children, no matter how old they get. Moms are always there for you. So get with the program and make your mother feel special today. Shower her with love and whatever else comes to mind.
Although my mother’s gone, she’s definitely not forgotten. And thanks to a lifetime of wonderful, interesting, funny memories she’ll always be with me. Seeing as how she’s not here to do it, I may just have to eat a piece of chocolate for her. It’s the least I can do, don’t you think?
But not any old chocolate will do. It has to be a good one. This calls for a visit to a purveyor of fine chocolates. When I get there, I’ll simply stand in front of the mouth watering display and wait. I know she’ll let me know exactly which one she wants. I can already hear her smacking her lips.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hope you have a fabulous day!