I have some reflections to offer. I don't know if you see what I see, but Mother's Day has become a day to bend over backwards in trying not to offend anyone. To the woman who wants children and can't-or has lost a child, it is painful. To the single woman who has no desire to be a mother, the day may be offensive, irrelevant, and possibly guilt-laden. To the woman who has raised children or is raising them and feels like she did or is doing a lousy ob, it's a reminder of all she is not. To the child whose mother was a lousy mother and the relationship is strained, it's no day to celebrate. And for the children who do want to honor their mother, their angst over the right gift is stress in itself.
As I watched the frantic run at Walmart Saturday night on the card aisle and the rose section. I imagined the originator of Mother's Day rolling over in her grave. Evidently, after getting the ball rolling, she spent the rest of her life trying to undo what she had done and to get it removed from the calendar. She despised the commercialization that so quickly took over the day. She didn't even want people to buy a card for their mothers. All she intended was that, one day a year, people pause, sit down and write a note of appreciation to their mother. That's it. No flowers. No gifts. No big public displays, awards or eulogies.
I know of several mothers who stayed home from church yesterday because it hurts too much to be there. And even among those who came, there were heavy hearts. Somehow the token rose or piece of chocolate or tomato plant handed out to all women who, by good fortune, made it to the age of 18 doesn't quite compensate.
So what's the solution?
Maybe we need to pay more attention to Anna Jarvis and what she intended Mother's Day to be. Think about it. What if it simply became a day to sit down and write a note of appreciation to our mothers. Who would that exclude? There's not a person on the planet who got here without a mother. And even if the only thing she got right was to let you borrow her body for 9 months and then went through the pain, discomfort and inconvenience of child birth so that you could have a life, isn't that worth a note of thanks? If your mother is no longer here, taking the moment to write down a memory or pause for a moment of gratitude for one small thing she did is actually an uplift to the whole human race because no positive act is wasted.
It takes our minds off of ourselves and turns us outward. And although she may exist, I don't know of a mother who wouldn't cherish that sincere note over the most costly gift or millions of roses. And even if she does reject it, the simple act of you writing that note and taking time to be grateful will be a boost to your own happiness.
Maybe that's the whole spirit behind the 5th commandment.
I say let's take the whole thing out of the stores and the public square and return it to our individual hearts where it belongs.