When I was a child, I thought Mother’s Day was the simplest of holidays. Get gifts for mom, eat good food, and enjoy.
Decades later, I realized that Mother’s Day is more complicated than that. For some, it is a day of celebration. For others like myself, it is a day of remembrance. And then there are those who face this holiday scarred by the loss of a child and faced with a range of emotions I can’t even imagine. The second Sunday in May can be a poignant reminder of both the good and the bad.
Still, many of us can readily recognize women who played a pivotal role in helping us grow through the years. I am very grateful to have women in my life—many lifelong friends of my mother—who continue to love me though she is gone. A host of godmothers, aunties, neighbors, play aunts, coworkers, and even customers have mothered me at times when I needed it most.
The best Mother’s Day gift I ever received was my second born son, delivered just two days prior. One of my favorite memories is a rare brunch with my mother when she came to visit nearly a decade ago. The worst was Mother’s Day 2017—two months after losing her.
Thankfully, I was blessed by friends and family who assured me that I was not alone. I felt alone, but I really wasn’t. God blessed me through loving people even as I was still angry with Him.
God understood my anger and He certainly understands the emotions this day may bring to you. Whatever your situation, I pray it is a good day—as good as it can possibly be.
In memory of Kay Frances Shinholster Finley, here are three pieces of advice my mother gave me:
Always treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Good manners and a good attitude can take you farther than skills and experience. If you are likeable enough, someone will teach you what you need to know.
Give from the heart. The reaction to your gift isn’t nearly as important as the intention and sincerity with which you give it.
Happy Mother’s Day!