This Mother’s Day will be different for many families.
Whether sheltering in place or simply taking extra care to keep a safe distance between themselves and mama — particularly if she is over the age of 60 — many family members will not celebrate Mother’s Day 2020 together in the physical presence of their mom, or each other. That is sad, but it is a part of this year’s “new normal.”
Both my mother, Ann McFerrin, and my mother-in-law, Alice Sossaman, are in their 70s. They have some health issues that could make them more vulnerable to some of the more serious complications of COVID-19.
So this Mother’s Day, we won’t be having a large family dinner or going out to eat, even if we could. We plan to be careful while also observing this special occasion.
As of this writing Tuesday night, I had not yet gotten any intelligence reports from the mother of my children about how we are planning to approach this Sunday.
We want to honor, pay tribute to, our mothers. Above all, we want them to know that we love them and appreciate them — not only for what they have done for us throughout our lives, but for just being there and being themselves.
I am blessed to have in my inner circle, four amazing women who, I am proud to say, are wonderful mothers whom I love very much.
There’s my mother, who showered all of her attention on me, her only child (a keen focus that is simultaneously wonderful and challenging, depending on the behavior and demeanor of the young’un at any given point in time, but I digress); Krista’s mother, who was the nurturer of three sons and two daughters; Krista herself, the mother of our two children, Brandon and Kelsey; and daughter Kelsey Bright, the mother of our two grandchildren, Harper and Beckett.
They are four lovely women, each blessed with the gift of motherhood and the ability to fill the role with the loving care required of the job.
No mother — no person, period — is always cool, calm and collected, nor always thoughtful, loving and kind.
Looking back on my own experience as a juvenile, I recall instances when I caused my mother to blow a fuse. There were other times when Mama, tired from a long, hard day at work and in no mood for foolishness from the house minor, left no doubt that she needed some “Calgon” time. I could tell. And she was more than deserving. A mother wears many hats and juggles many responsibilities.
A mother’s love takes on many forms, but a common denominator among good biological mothers is a deep devotion and unconditional love for her babies — and they are her babies, whether 5 months or 55 years old.
Not all women who give birth are “good” mothers, which is why I made that distinction. (Yes, the same can be said of men. Not every male who fathers a child is a father in the fullest sense.)
There are women who have never given birth yet have been a mother figure to a child or children in every other sense of the word.
Many women became mothers after they adopted or fostered a child.
Some are now considered a mother because, even though they were first a grandmother or an aunt to a child, they took in, loved and raised that child as if he or she were their own.
There are church mothers — women who often are the prayer warriors and spiritual backbone of a congregation, sometimes leading quietly by example and at others taking an active role in the lives of young churchgoers.
All of them are precious jewels among us and deserve to be remembered Sunday.
This novel coronavirus does not diminish the meaning or importance of Mother’s Day. It will only alter some traditional observances.
But Mama will understand, as long as we don’t forget.