A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Mother’s Day

May 10th, 2007

Much as we’d like to believe that Mother’s Day is a shrewd marketing ploy of the Hallmark Company, they didn’t invent it. They just capitalized on it. 

Often Hallmark cards are accompanied by flowers and a family dinner to a restaurant, because Mother’s Day is also the biggest day of the year for dining out. And because not everyone’s Mom lives nearby, it’s also the highest volume day for telephone calls. Whether up close in person or long distance by phone, we want to tell Mom how much we appreciate her. 

For some, Mother’s Day isn’t all hearts and flowers. Some people are frustrated that Hallmark doesn’t make a card that says, “Hey Mom, I’d like to take you to dinner but since you abandoned me when I was three, I don’t know where you are.” Or, “Dear Mom, I’d call you today if I knew you wouldn’t hang up on me.” Not everyone has a caring Mom. That’s really sad. But true. And part of living in a fallen world.

For others, Mother’s Day is wondering what might have been. I have a friend whose mother died when he was a month old. Try as I might, I can’t imagine what that’s like for him. They say you don’t miss what you never had. I can’t believe that adage holds true when speaking of the woman who brought you into the world; a woman of incredible significance that he has no memory of and never got to know. 

Come Sunday people from New York to Newport Beach will pause during a celebration dinner with the Mom who raised them to ponder over the Mom who gave birth to them.  And during that moment of reflection hopefully realize that it’s the secure commitment of the former that allows the freedom to wonder about the latter. 

My guess is that most mothers would be surprised by what their kids remember about them. It’s likely not the big events or fancy birthday presents we received. It’s the moments in the routine of living that made a lasting impression on their child’s heart. A routine that, when she’s in the middle of it, every Mom wishes she could get a break from.

When kids get sick, for them it’s a day off school. A day to lay in bed and sleep or read comic books or play video games. For Mom it’s added caretaking and subtracted time from an already hectic day. But who doesn’t remember how their Mom took care of them when they were home with the flu? Or the chicken pox? Or the mumps? Or the broken arm that we got falling out of the tree she told us not to climb?

I doubt my Mom remembers the day I had a severe allergic reaction to something that made me break out in some unknown rash and caused a mild asthma attack. Or that I remember her being lovingly firm when at the doctor’s office I desperately filibustered against getting a shot. I lost, 2-1, Mom crossing party lines to vote with the doctor in favor of poking my butt with a needle. I hate needles. Mom knew that. And that evening she gave me a Hallmark card to say what a brave boy I was. I was only 23 at the time.

Not really. I was 10. But to this day Mom knows I’d probably try just as hard to talk my way out of a shot.

I doubt my Mom would know that among my vivid childhood memories is her waking me up for kindergarten on a sub-zero Iowa morning and coming downstairs to see that she had my clothes and boots laid out over the furnace grate so they would be warm when I got dressed.

Now why would I remember that?

Maybe because acts of love stick to our heart.

If your Mom is near, take her out to dinner. If she’s far away, call and talk to her. Near or far, take time on Sunday to tell her what acts of love have stuck to your heart. She will be surprised by what you remember.

And to my Mom in Iowa…Happy Mother’s Day. I wish I could be there to take you to dinner. 

Oh, and you should know…my room is clean now. For real.    🙂

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” – Exodus 20:12

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.” – Spanish proverb