I am almost certain that Mother’s Day was not created for my personal enjoyment, but I have to say that it was pretty lonely this time around. It marked the fourth Mother’s Day since my mother’s passing, and this year my wife was in Arkansas for a high school graduation so even that was limited to a text message celebration.
Of all my mom’s wonderful characteristics, that she was always there for me ranks near the top, which makes her absence more pronounced. I know that I have tons of people still there for me, including an amazing wife, beautiful daughters, and a bevy of family and friends, but no one, biologically speaking, has “been there” like your mother. It is a special, indescribable bond.
Pardon my boasting, but mine was the very best. You can arm wrestle over second place, which is still a pretty great accomplishment given the billions of mothers in world history, but the gold medal stand is already occupied.
One story that describes my mom: I moved my little family five-hundred miles away from my widowed mother in 1999, which she handled well. Not long after our move, a job opportunity emerged in my hometown (near mom), and I submitted an application. The organization decided to interview two final candidates, including me, but after deep reflection, I decided to pull out prior to the interview. My mom was so happy.
That last line is neither a typo nor sarcasm—it is truth. Even though my mom missed us very much (well, honestly, probably the grandkiddos most of all), she felt that I would not be happy in the potential job, and she would rather I be far away and happy than nearby and not.
That is how I define real love. The happiness of the object of your love > personal happiness.
Mother’s Day may have been a bit lonely this year, but it remains very, very special.