Sunday, May 8, 2011 | 2 a.m.
I knew this day would come.
And now it is here. This is the first Mother’s Day in my life when Mom is not here. She is not laughing and happy, she is not dressed in her finest for lunch with Joyce Mack, Peggy Thomas and other longtime friends and their families at the Las Vegas Country Club, surrounded by her children and, then, their children.
Nor is she with us, even in those last couple of years of her life when the great grandchildren came to visit on “her day,” bringing her great joy but with the knowledge that Mother’s Day for Barbara’s family would never be the same again.
Yes, that day has come, just as it comes for every human being on Earth. Having company doesn’t make it any easier to know that the woman I used to help Dad make breakfast in bed for — not very often since that effort wasn’t our strong suit — or the mother we were all so proud to join on her special day, can’t be with us anymore.
For years, I would write a Mother’s Day column in which I would tell my mother and my mother-in-law, Rachel Smith, as well as the mother of my wonderful daughter, Amy — that would be my fabulous Myra — that I loved them and was glad they were here to help make my life so much better (always about me). It was my way of sharing Mother’s Day with all sons and daughters who were in exactly the same place I was, a fortunate son who could wish Mom the best on her special day. And kiss her.
I would also write about those sons and daughters who no longer could physically hold or hug or kiss their mothers, no longer could get them on a phone call, local or long distance, and no longer could share with the women who brought them into this world the sheer joy of an earthly relationship. For all of those people who had lost their mothers, memories are all they had left.
So that is where I am today. With my memories. And those memories are all good because, over time, whatever used to be unpleasant, whatever used to be important, whatever used to rise to the level of something to be concerned about in a parent-child relationship, fades to nothingness. And what is left are warm and wonderful memories of the woman who gave us everything she had so that we could grow to be everything we could be.
If we are to take a lesson from this Mother’s Day or any other similar holiday, it should be that the parent within us must always strive to make life better for our children. That is an easy job for those of us who have been blessed with children and even grandchildren.
But there are many people who don’t have children yet or won’t ever have children. Although they don’t have a direct relationship to the future, there are nieces and nephews to consider as well as a common sense of decency that connects us all in how we strive to build a better future.
I am thinking about that future more these days. In part because Mother’s Day connects us to what is coming through our bond with what has gone before us. Moms represent that thread that ties one generation to another.
So I will continue to wish my dear “Grandma” Rachel the best Mother’s Day ever, as I will all the mothers with whom I have been privileged to share this day over the past few decades. I will also be forever indebted to the mother of my beautiful Amy, who has become the mother of the best little kids on the planet. OK, I admit to a bias, but just a small one.
Yes, this Mother’s Day is different because Mom isn’t with us. But to the extent that your mother is with you, take advantage. Tell her you love her, you respect her and that you are grateful for all she has done for you. And don’t tell her that just today. That conversation should be a regular occurrence because you never know when you can no longer have that privilege.
I will keep this column short because, first and foremost, that’s what my mother would require. And, second, we all have better things to do today. We each have people in our lives who we love and we need to tell them just that. So get to the telling. And consider yourself lucky that you still can do so.
Happy Mother’s Day, to all moms. Everywhere.
Brian Greenspun is publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun.