Mother’s Day

BY Bill Reagan

You may be feeling a bit sentimental today. You might be planning brunch and flowers. Many of you will make a phone call to your mother who lives in another state. Some will be going to church for the only time this year. We think we’re supposed to be filled with love on a day like today, but reality doesn’t always meet expectations. Your mother may be dead and you’ll never get another chance to tell her you love her. She may be sick and in a nursing home, hardly the person you knew and loved. Today’s visit may be hard.

And just because it’s Mother’s Day that doesn’t mean you had a good mother. You may not even want to see her at all.

And just because it’s Mother’s Day that doesn’t mean you’ve been a good son or daughter. She probably wants to see you still, but it may be hard on her.

Chaplains will tell you that there is no such thing as right or wrong feelings. Feelings are feelings, and your experience is your experience. What counts is how you respond to your feelings and what you do with your experience.

If you have a happy, warm relationship with your mother, celebrate. Take a little Champaign with your brunch, linger at the table and tell her how wonderful she is.

If she’s gone, take some time to look at pictures. Tell your children and grandchildren about her. Go visit her grave.

If your relationship is strained, offer a gesture of kindness. Let your hurt and resentment go for a day. You might find you can do it for another day. It may be the first drop that melts the glacier.

Mother’s Day is important for more than sentimental reasons. Mother’s Day affirms family. The family is the indispensible unit of society. When the family is well society does well.

Bill Reagan is executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.