Caring Currents

Spending Time on Mother's Day

Last updated:

May 01, 2008

In honor of Mother's Day, I asked several close friends what they missed most about their mothers. Their mothers all died within the last few years, and the loss is fresh and very raw.

My friends all had very different relationships with their mothers, but their answers to the question of what they missed most were remarkably similar. Most of all, they missed the fact of having a mother, someone whose love was a simple, all encompassing part of life.

  • "I miss having my mother in the world," one said.
  • "She was always watching over me," said another. "I miss that." 
  • Said a third, "We all feel this in my family: When my mother died, we lost our greatest fan."

A psychotherapist once told me that a child's mother is his or her first "ecosystem." Like the air we breathe and the ground we walk on, our mother sustains us  -- even if we aren't aware of it much of the time. As Joni Mitchell sang in the "Big Yellow Taxi," as much as we love our mothers, we may not know what we've got until it's gone.

That's something to consider as you think about a Mothers Day gift for your mom. My friends all expressed a deep longing to simply sit and talk with their mothers again. So don't worry about sending flowers or buying a fancy bracelet for your mother. Instead, think about taking her out for a picnic or having a long chat on the phone if she lives far away. Sit with her if she's in a nursing home and give her a foot rub if she's confined to bed. Even if your mother is hard to get along with, call a truce for the day, and give it another try. Connect with your mother, while you still have the chance.

Image by Flickr user Old Shoe Woman used under the Creative Commons licencing agreement.