Editorials by Robert Kirwan

The Most Beautiful Word In Any Language….Mother

   Norman Vincent Peale once wrote, “In her the creative genius of God attains His highest skill. What a charming blend she is of the most lovable and moving qualities of human nature. From the moment in youth when she holds her first baby in her arms until in life’s evening time she looks tenderly upon her grandchild, her life is one of dedicated service and love. Loving us; believing in us; fighting for us; praying for us; to her we are always her dear child – life of her life.”
   Sunday, May 14 is Mother’s Day – our special way of recognizing an extraordinary way of love. It is a day to honour someone who gives of herself so that others have more.
   I will never forget one young mother I met a long time ago. It was before my wife and I had any children of our own. The lady was walking down the hallway of one of the schools where I was teaching, eyes full of laughter, and two little shadows following after her. Wherever she moved, they were always right there – holding on to her skirt; hanging onto her chair; before her; after her; constantly in touch.
   Finally, I could resist no longer and asked, “Don’t you ever get tired of your two little shadows getting in your way?”
   She smiled as she shook her pretty young head, and answered with a loving smile, “It’s good to have shadows that run when you run; that laugh when you’re happy; and hum when you hum. You only have shadows when the sun is out, and every day of my life is filled with sunshine when I have my children around.”
   Another story I always remember around Mother’s Day is the one about the soldier who, during World War II watched a lady break the only piece of bread she had into two fragments and give them to her children. He turned to the Sergeant and commented, “She has kept nothing for herself. Is it because she is not hungry?”
   The Sergeant answered, “No. It is because she is a mother.”
   Mother’s Day is an opportunity for each of us to say “Thank You” to our Mother for being such a significant person in our life and for adding warmth to our days. This is a celebration of the kind of timeless love and care that has been shared since we were held for the first time in those soft, loving arms. This is a day to show your Mother, in some special way, that you truly appreciate everything she has done for you.
   Remember…it is the little things that count and give a mother pleasure. The picture that is smudged a bit with fingerprints; the school art project that requires an explanation; the card made out of construction paper; the coloured rock; the ragged, bright bouquet of flowers, roots and all – these are things that delight a mother’s heart and these are the things that she likely still has stored away in boxes in the basement or garage. Your mother has spent a lifetime giving of herself and sacrificing her time for you – give a bit of that time back to her this Mother’s Day.
   In closing, I would like to leave you with the thoughts of an anonymous woman who wrote about her mother.
   “I had the meanest mother in the world! While other kids had candy and pop for breakfast, I had to eat cereal, eggs and toast. While other kids had cakes and candy for lunch, I had a sandwich. My Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times and if we said we would be gone for an hour, we had to be back within an hour or less. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing with them. I am ashamed to admit it, but she actually had the nerve to break the child labour law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make the beds and learn how to cook. That woman must have stayed awake nights thinking up things for us kids to do. And she insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read minds and our life became more unbearable. None of this talking on the phone for hours each night before our homework was done; none of this honking the car horn for us to come running; and she embarrassed us to no end by insisting that friends come to the door to get us. I forgot to mention that most of our fiends were allowed to date at the mature age of 12 or 13, but our old-fashioned mother refused to let us date until we were 16.
   Because of our Mother, we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s property or even arrested for any crime. It was her fault.
   Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.”
   Perhaps that is what the world needs today – more mean Moms!
    This Sunday, treat your Mom to something special. And when she refuses to allow you to sit down to the dinner table with your hat on, give her a big hug and thank her for being so mean.
   On behalf of all children of the world, let me wish all mothers and grandmothers a very happy and joyous Mothers’ Day!


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