Nine years ago my father died shortly before Father’s Day. That first year I wanted to close my eyes and pretend there was no special day honoring dads as my grief was fresh and overwhelming. As Mother’s Day nears, I am grateful to have had my 87-year old mom in my life for so long. But in thinking about my good fortune, I am saddened for those who are not so lucky. In particular, my thoughts are with a 17-year old boy who may be wishing away Mother’s Day as he remembers the mom he lost in February.
At her funeral, I heard him speak about her with exceptional tenderness and composure. As he talked about what she meant to him, he described her generous love. Here are some of the ways he remembered her:
My Mom opened the world to me and gave me a kid’s perfect life. We read books over and over together. Mom was my playmate and my biggest fan.
We traveled to see God’s beauty in nature.
My mother taught me kindness, honesty, reliability and thrift.
By her example, she showed me to value my family and friends, to eat good food, to exercise, to be energetic and to work hard. She wanted to have fun and laugh, every single day, and to love people and accept love from them. She was always grateful for God’s blessings.
Mom led a peaceful life. She treated everyone she met as her friend, so she had lots of friends. She walked with [our dog] happily greeting neighbors, the 2-legged and the 4-legged ones. Each day, she spent time in spiritual practice to make herself a better person and be closer to God. She was authentic, always herself, every minute.
She taught me that I am her rare treasure, like no other person. I am her treasure. She will always be with me in my heart and mind.
On this Mother’s Day, I grieve for this wonderful person who was so dedicated to her son. I see that her legacy comes from the reading, the travel, the laughter, the lessons. She leaves behind memories of kindness and love and happiness and caring.
His words are a reminder to me that every day we have a chance to be a loving parent is a good day.