Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thanks, Mom

Today is Mother’s Day, a day for recognizing and celebrating our mothers.  It follows the tradition of Mothering Sunday which falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent.  I didn’t realize it but there are various celebrations for mothers all over the world and it is a long standing holiday.  In this country, Ann Jarvis is credited for creating the holiday in 1912 and set aside the second Sunday in May for the celebration.

Countries all over the world celebrate Mother’s Day.  In Mexico apparently it is a huge event – or it was.  My mother told me that she and my father were driving down there in the early years of their marriage to Mexico to see his mother.  They were stopped at the border for the routine crossing the border exercise and when they told the border patrol guard the nature of their business they were hurried along in order to make it on time.  According to Wikipedia, in the mid-1930s the government of Lázaro Cárdenas promoted the holiday as a "patriotic festival", so it must have been a big thing.

My mother is still living, and reigns as the matriarch of our family.  She is a very independent person and has a streak of stubbornness that won’t quit.  I suppose I got mine from her.  Anyway, she is very outspoken on a number of topics and is always willing to speak her mind even if you don’t want to hear it.  It was always a source of embarrassment for my brother and I to have her complain to a waitress that the music was too loud, or the food was not to her liking.  When I came across a sweatshirt that had the saying “she who must be obeyed”, I purchased it immediately for her.  She took it in stride.  But for all her faults, she is the most generous person I know. 

Being so outspoken, she exhibited an air of confidence that rather intimidated me as a youngster.  Being fluent in three languages and a proficient pianist, she seemed so intelligent and so unapproachable.  She and my father had difficulties and they divorced when I was 14.   I suppose she was too headstrong for him.  My stepmother is very gentle and quiet; the exact opposite of my mother.  But I have learned a lot from my mother and now that I have gotten older, I realize that my mother is right on a lot of things and I should keep an open mind and a closed mouth in dealing with her. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  Thanks for everything.

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