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Mother’s Day - a different view

FIRST-PERSON

Posted: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Every child deserves a good mother – but not every child gets one. Abandoned, abused, aborted; that is the lot of many children. A card to honor this type of mother would never sell. Yet there are many of these mothers in the world.

Doesn’t every child deserve a good mother? I once heard my husband say to our third child, “You are a lucky little boy to have such a good mother”. Far from being flattered, I was angry. No! It was his right to have a good mother. It wasn’t a matter of luck. His comment had stemmed from his own mother having abandoned him at the tender age of six.

My mother certainly wasn’t a bad mother. By the time I was born, the last of 16 children, she was just worn out. With the first of my siblings, she had been as loving and wonderful as all the modern sentiment would have us believe. With the next batch, the enthusiasm was wearing thin. By the time my twin brother and I put in an appearance, not even a glimmer of enthusiasm remained.

Still, we did not enter a home of abandonment or abuse - and obviously, abortion was not in her vocabulary. We were treated well enough; at least we were unaware of any other standard. My childhood was not ideal but it could have been ten times worse. As an ‘underprivileged child,’ opportunities often came my way. My parents kept a roof over our heads, food on the table - albeit inadequate and not very nutritious - and a place to rest our heads safe from any evil influence outside our door - we lived in a big city. If my parents quarreled, it was not in our presence. Discipline was swift and just. Tattling and bad language were not tolerated. Unkindness was unheard of. I am grateful for other intrinsic values passed on to me; a good set of genes, an indomitable spirit and a patriotic fervor.

I believe that the first duty of a mother is love and respect of herself. Only then can it radiate to her children, grandchildren, friends, and all those who surround her along life’s way. It is an ever-widening circle that brings nothing but joy, peace, tolerance and satisfaction. Like pebbles thrown into the lake, the circles are ever widening and ever more tranquil.

A Mother’s joy and satisfaction comes in watching our children raising their own - if we have done our job well -, especially watching them become a credit to us and society. That is the ultimate reward.

It is only in retrospect that I see things differently. Life, in the first half of the 1900s in the old country, was very harsh for my mother. Though it has taken me half a century to fully appreciate her, I am especially grateful to her for having given me my life - which has been a good one. Peace and serenity, albeit in a very tumultuous world, was not her lot in life – as is mine.

In my generation and in the country of my birth, mothers were honored on their birthday. Though she has been gone for over 50 years, my two remaining brothers and I still sing to her on January 6th . . . . .

♫ It’s my Mother’s Birthday today, I’m on my way with a lovely bouquet . . . . ♫

Thank You Mum!

Editor's Note: We had so many great submissions honoring Mother's Day, we alerted our readers that the stories would run May 4 through May 18. This is the last Sunday that we're publishing the stories in May 2014.

 

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