For all Moms, on YOUR day

Published 3:51 pm Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother’s Day weekend brings more than a last minute scramble to find something, anything, at Wal-Mart; frantic Saturday calls to the florist; and if Mom is far away, hoping you can get that overnight shipping from Amazon, Groupon, or even FTD.

I know, I’ve done it too – waaay too many times.

Mother’s Day is like that: it just kind of sneaks up on you.

Let me begin by hoping and praying for the best for all mothers on Mother’s Day 2015, including those who don’t always get that thank-you or something else that says, “I remembered!”

My mother isn’t around anymore.  She has transitioned on to a well-deserved reward.  I miss her smile, her laugh, even her fussing at me over the little things.  I miss her making me study – not just ‘read’ – my Sunday School lesson, the spankings and “whippin’s”, the smell of her cooking, canning, and even cleaning; chastening me for some of my bad decisions in my adult life; but I especially miss that she was always there when I needed a “confessor” through the tough times.

Growing up without siblings you don’t always have what I felt was a familial comfortable-ness and closeness that we who were an ‘only-child’ have experienced. I think that’s what makes the loss of one’s parent’s sting in your heart a bit more because of the absence of that special closeness. But that also becomes something that gives you insight and hope that you are proud to pass along.

Experience has taught me that time erases the sadness. When your mother passes there are the usual regrets from those still living. I should have visited Mom more often. When I lived in the southern part of the state, every time I’d come home to visit and when I got up to leave, she would clutch my hand and without saying a word I knew the look in her eyes was begging me to stay.

I should have played her favorite church music, opened her memory books and listened as I knew she was struggling to say words she couldn’t remember.

It’s a guilt trip I feel every time I visit her gravesite. I used to get emotional sitting in my car before and after every visit. I should have stayed longer.

On Mother’s Day, I send cards to the surrogates: my step-daughters, cousins, aunts and even to my ex-wives. These are the women who’ve molded me into who I am, the good, bad, and the ugly, and through it all I can’t forget or dismiss their sacrifice.

Not all of us, however, had storybook childhoods and not all of us have mothers who were able to meet our every need. Some of us have far less than perfect mothers, and some of us have mothers we don’t even know, aren’t close to, or that we never even met.  There are the mothers who weren’t there to dry our tears or hold our hands. Others of us have more than one mother or mother figure, and some have one mother who raised us and another one who brought us into the world.

May we all be kind to those woman who are less fortunate: the drug addict, the panhandler, the teen, the neighborhood drunk, because she may be somebody’s mother, even if she lives in a cardboard box or maybe sleeps in somebody’s doorway or even in their car.

Every one of us has at least ONE woman who served a part in our being here and/or being raised to the best of their ability.

So this Sunday, open your heart to ALL mothers, and remember that no matter what she’s been through, she’s someone’s perfect – or even imperfect – mother, too.

Gene Motley is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7211.