Happy Mother’s Day: Celebrating With Gratitude, Love and Memories

A Mom Launches Us Into Life

Honoring and Remembering Our Mothers

**A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.” ~HonorĂ© de Balzac

As I write this, I am looking at a photo of my mother, Bertie, whose smile lit up the world. She brought a joie de vivre wherever she went. She was a second mother to all my friends who sought her out for support and attention. I was proud of her youthful beauty and energy. The local grocer, upon seeing us would exclaim, “Here come the Clark sisters!”

On May 3, 1976 my mother died of a brain aneurysm at 53. It rocked my world off its axis. I miss her still. If she were here today, I would tell her about my gratitude, which I never fully embraced until I “grew up” and forgave her for not being the perfect mother! If she were here today, I’d shower her with her favorite things: Reese’s peanut butter cups, the New York Times crossword puzzles, a picnic on the beach, shopping at Loehmann’s, a luncheon for her Kiwi friends (retired American Airlines stewardesses) or a Sunday drive in the country.

Here in the U.S., we celebrate by treating our mothers to a meal, a massage, giving flowers or gifts. Perhaps the best way to celebrate Mom is to be fully present with her–to deeply listen and fully love and appreciate her while expecting nothing in return—remembering that, although, our mothers may have made mistakes, they did the best they could.

If your mom is no longer living, why not take out a picture of her, light and candle and remember her, thank her for whatever sacrifices she made and for giving you life.

Mother’s Day Around the World

Although Mother’s Day is a fairly recent phenomenon – stemming from pacifist movements that sprang up following the U.S. Civil War – this  holiday is widely celebrated. The dates vary according to country, with many cultures adapting it to existing celebrations of women – Virgin Mary Day for Catholic cultures, the birthday of the prophet’s daughter for Islamic countries, etc. Though the meaning can vary for each community, at its heart Mother’s Day is an opportunity for each family to celebrate and honor their mother.

In Bangladesh, the day is marked with organized government activities, performances and TV programs.

In Bolivia, Mother’s Day actually commemorates the Battle of Coronilla during the Bolivian War of Independence, in which women took part in the fighting, many of whom were killed. As a result, the Bolivian holiday is more somber in tone than the American celebration.

Carnations and lilies – which Chinese mothers traditionally planted on the occasion their children left home – are common gifts on Mother’s Day in China.

During WWI in France and WWII in Germany, Mother’s Day was first popularized in an attempt to encourage population growth – mothers of large families were awarded medals! Eventually the holiday came to include all mothers, regardless of family size.

Mother’s Day is cherished in Indonesia, and as such they play host to some very lively Mother’s Day festivities. These including surprise parties, cooking competitions, and giving mothers a chore-free day of pampering.

However we celebrate, may we all deeply acknowledge the endless love and effort put forth by our mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!

With love for the mother and life giver within us all,

Connie

Photo Credit: Violette 79

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One Response to “Happy Mother’s Day: Celebrating With Gratitude, Love and Memories”

  1. ks sunflower says:

    I just discovered your blog through a comment on another blog. Thank you for devoting time, talent and energy to uplifting us all!

    I was particularly struck by your emphasis on being grateful. It is a “secret” to feeling joyful every day. I wish more people would realize that.

    There is a series of children’s books that our adult daughter and I discovered together that follow that theme. Michael Hoeye’s main character, a watchmaker mouse called Hermux Tantamoq, keeps a journal into which he records at the end of every day everything he encountered or realized he was grateful for – nothing was too small or commonplace for him to notice. Not that he spent endless time on this journal, but every day a few new things would occur to him.

    So potent was this idea, that we decorated a couple of inexpensive journals and started our own. I have always felt that good children’s books have potent messages we adults need to remember or ideas to implement.

    We have, of course, been scattered in our dedication to this idea, but we always seem to come back to it. It is fascinating to look back over past entries and see patterns or be reminded of things that meant a lot to us a particular day, but we’ve forgotten about.

    I was struck by how many entries we listed were for things we usually take for granted but truly treasure: indoor plumbing, showers, toothbrushes, et cetera. Why? Because something happened on that particular day to make us realize how important those things were to us – perhaps the electricity went out (and electricity had its own entry that day) – perhaps we’d traveled and forgot our toothbrush; in short, something or someone made us notice we did indeed feel grateful for it or that person.

    I find it intriguing that there is a thread between objects and people when we think of gratitude – we often don’t realize how grateful we are for either until something shocks or nudges us into conscious realization.

    Little Hermux’s journaling habit is something we could all incorporate to hopefully jog ourselves out of our normal thinking. It also helped us to communicate to one another – sharing gratitude is also a powerful tool for happiness. Too often, we only talk about what upsets or puzzles us. How wonderful to share our appreciation.

    Hermux’s adventures (and journals) can be found in books such as: Sands of Time, Time Stops for No Mouse, No Time Like Show Time and Time to Smell the Roses (he is, after all, a watchmaker, so time is a natural element for a title). What a great gift to share with a child (no matter the age) – the gift of a grateful attitude.

    I was therefore pleased to see you emphasize it here.

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