I grew up in Canada. Mother’s Day was in May. Now, living in England, the big day is today….in March. I’m confused. Nothing new there. But I end up saying Happy Mother’s Day to my mum twice. And, I have to buy a Mother’s day card now to send in May. I have a pile from previous years in my desk drawer. I mean to send them. I really do. But I forget, then it gets too late and instead of keeping the card for the next year, I end up buying a new one because I forget I have the old ones. Yes….I bought one this year too. If I had written this Blog earlier, I might have remembered not to get another one. Oh well.
I know, I know, I could set a reminder for myself, put a message on my ‘Smart’ phone or write a post-it and stick it on the wall. But by May the post-it would have fallen down and I have no clue how to set a reminder on my phone which is much smarter than I. Plus, I’m lazy. Probably why I don’t make any money with my writing….lazy mind you see. Not my fault. I come from a long line of the same. It skipped a generation, though, because my younger brother is the smart one….brains up the wazoo.
Be that as it may, my best friend is constantly reminding me that I need to remember to send the card. I don’t, but I do call….every Mothers’ day, including the British one. How many mums get two Mother’s Day calls I ask you? One in March and one in May. In March I say I am saving the card I bought for May. In May I say I have the card and forgot to mail it early enough and promise to send it toot sweetly and….well you’ve got the picture by now. Bad, bad boy.
Mothers’ Day. What a retail con anyway. Like all the rest, Valentines Day and Easter Egg Day and the rest. As with so many commercialised days, Mothers’ Day (I put the possessive apostrophe after the s because it includes all mums….to hell with convention) began in America in the early 20th century. A woman named Anna Jarvis campaigned for a day to honour mums based on the work of her own mother. She succeeded only to have the whole thing commercialised by those who sought to make profit from any sentiment. She actually ended up campaigning against the very holiday she saw into existence to rid the day of its commercial takeover. The poor woman died hating Mothers’ Day.
I certainly don’t hate Mothers’ Day, but I do agree with Anna. Have you noticed how the price of flowers and plants, chocolates or anything goes up around these special days? The price of cards is crazy too, unless you get those really cheap last-minute ones at the local convenience shop. What does that say about your mother? See how they get you? If you aren’t spending a fortune, like everyone else, you must not really love your mother. Rubbish. I’m with Anna. I tell my mum I love her every day when I call her back in London, Ontario. Sure, there have been times when we’ve driven each other crazy and our ideologies clash, but our love is unconditional. No card and flowers to say so are necessary.
No, this is not an attempt to get out of looking cheap. It’s how I feel. I may act and appear to be a selfish git at times. Who doesn’t? Ask any parents about their children. They drive us crazy, especially mothers. They spent nine months carrying the ungrateful little wretches about inside their bodies and put up with all kinds of unwarranted abuse in the coming years. Nature demands such sacrifice for the propagation on the species. All the rest of the sentiments expressed about why we have children (apologies to my three) are hogwash and bollocks. Sounds harsh, but there you have it. Still, you can’t help loving the little beggars can you? Unless they are totally evil. Even then, we make excuses and allowances. Mums surely do.
BB King once sang, ‘Only my mother loves me and she could be jivin’ too’. Although he lost his mum when he was nine and sang ‘A Mother’s Love’, one of the greatest mother songs ever, sometimes we wonder how far a mother’s love goes. We have all done things that might deserve our mums disowning us, but most of them don’t. Some do, unfortunately, but not many. The reasons they might leave is more due to mental health than self-centredness. And lest we forget, there are women who choose not to or cannot have children of their own. We could point out all the reasons why having Mothers’ Day excludes those and other groups of women who never become mothers, but that would be pointless. Unless there is an enormous backlash against this day, it shall remain a part of the landscape for years to come.
I am sad to say that my own mum (87 in June) is not faring so well at the moment. Dad died just over four years ago and she has missed him so much, she has decided she doesn’t want to go on, so she has stopped taking most of her meds and eats very little. She is extremely weak at the moment and can’t even get off her sofa to take my calls, unless my brother is there. I’ll try again today. After all, it’s Mother’s day….my mother’s day and shall be for all the days she has left on this planet. She’s a religious lady and believes in God and that there’s a heaven. She often laments that her eldest son doesn’t share in these sentiments, but she still loves me.
I really don’t know what happens to us after we die. No one does. But if we do go somewhere, I wonder if they have some kind of mail delivery. I’ll have a backlog of Mother’s Day cards to send my mum.