Sunday, May 13, 2012


Do you remember that old routine the Smothers Brothers did on their show?  I think Tom wanted to recite that verse* about Mother--you know, M is for...
Then Dick (the younger) would say to Tom (the older)--go ahead, Tom, say the poem.  So Tom started out:
M is for the Many things she gave me--(pause)
O is for the Other things she gave me--(another pause)
T is for the Things she gave me--(awkward pause)

And, then Tom would stop.  Stuck on H not really knowing the verse about "Mother."  Predictably, that would earn Dick's derisive scorn.  Of course, the routine stopped there--Tom never finished his version.

Well, Mother's Day is one of those days which the predominant culture lauds and bathes in positive association.  All of us had a mother--whatever other relatives we have, we all have for certainty two: a mother and a father.  But not all of us have happy memories attending this day. 

I know this has been the subject of a previous post--for, you see, my mother died on Mother's Day.  Of course, I still celebrate this day.  I honored my mother on this day when she was alive, and now that I have a step-mother, I honor her.  I have honored other mother figures in my life.  And I have been honored as a mother.

But, still, the day brings a moment's reflection--it raises a lump in my throat, quickens a tightness in my chest.  No day is a good day for the premature death of one's mother--but to have that death occur on Mother's Day?  Well, the overlapping of happiness with grief inevitably arises.

No need to belabor the subject--but each Mother's Day I naturally think of my mother, and I also remember her death.

* In case you don't know the verse (actually the lyrics from an early 1900s song)--here it is:
M Is for the Many things she gave me,
O Means only that she’s growing Old.
T Is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H Is for her Heart of purest gold.
E Is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R Means Right and Right she’ll always be.
Put them all together, They spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me.


Anvilcloud said...

Although it's a bittersweet day for you, I wish you more sweet than bitter.

Miriam said...

Thinking of you today! As well as a happy mother's day to you, too!

NCmountainwoman said...

My mother's funeral was on Monday after Mother's Day. I had a terrible time trying to find a florist in her small town who had enough flowers for the family spray. Because it was Mother's Day their stocks were depleted.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I do remember this verse. I have not recited it for years. My mother has been gone since she was 61. I don't need Mother's Day to think of her. I think of her almost daily and often recall the lessons she taught me. I even find myself saying some of the thing she said. So in a way,my mother is still in the present for me.

I have great respect for being a "mother". When my son's mother left to find herself. I came to see myself as more a mother than a father to our son as I took up the sole task of parenting (mothering) him to become a successful adult.
I often hinted that I should get a present at Mother's Day without any success.