Don’t Give Flowers On Mothers’ Day.
“Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. 2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.”
– 1 Timothy 5:1-2
Why do we always hurt the ones we love?
I guess Michael Bolton’s song is true: the most important people in our lives are the ones we inflict pain the most. I think it’s because it’s them who see our dark side. And not only that. Their imperfections irritate us as much that we forget how insignificant these really are. Sadly, that’s our nature. It seems our eyes are more trained to see the flaws in people.
We’re inclined to magnify the bad traits, and overlook the good ones.
We see this in relationships.
A wife complains that her husband is not so demonstrative, but fails to be thankful for each day that he comes home right after work, and how he provides for the family’s needs. Similarly, a husband complains his wife talks too much, and yet overlooks how she keeps the house tidy, his clothes clean and pressed, his food ready right on time.
Parents complain their kids sleep too much, for example, or don’t have higher school marks just like their friends. They miss acknowledging the blessing that they’re actually in their bedrooms, not somewhere overdosing on drugs and getting into trouble. Likewise, children grow up bitter against their parents because they feel restricted or deprived, wishing they were more permissive, forgetting that many kids are abandoned, or being sold to slavery of some kind by their very own mother and father.
“Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not forget your mother when she is old.”
– Proverbs 23:22
My parents had a difficult life, and yet tried so hard to keep us under their care. My dad was an alcoholic. It cost him his health and his savings. There were times he had to sell his own clothes just to feed the family. I remember waiting for him to come home so we could eat. My mom ventured into several small time businesses, but they never took off. Growing up, it was so frustrating to witness how they mishandled their health, talents and savings, thus sending me to look for my own scholarship to finish college. On top of that, some of my siblings were into drugs and vices. It was far from the ideal family life, and I must admit that my parents really mismanaged our life.
But what I am grateful about is that they never ever thought of giving us away. Our abusive relatives wanted us to stay with them so they could save money from hiring servants. In fact some of my siblings stayed with them for a short while, but my parents weren’t completely away. They were there, making sure nobody would hurt us. Through thick and thin, I saw they fought for us, despite their imperfections. I never felt abandoned, like so many kids experience. I felt loved. And cared for.
Looking back, it’s only now that I’ve come to pick up the broken pieces… my dad’s drunkeness was due to his depression. Mom didn’t have parents to guide her on how to build a family. They had none of the training and exposure that I have now.
As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said:
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
THIS MOTHERS’ DAY, I hope YOU DON’T GIVE FLOWERS TO YOUR MOM. Because sometimes, we hide behind these gifts to avoid dealing with deeper problems. Do something different. Take your mom on a date, and really talk to her. Ask forgiveness if you must. And thank her on SPECIFIC things you appreciate about her. If you can’t tell her in person, WRITE THEM DOWN. Gifts and cards are cliché. They don’t mean anything anymore in this consummerist society. But if you must give them, above all, GIVE YOUR HEART. Express what’s in your soul. APPRECIATE. I mean REALLY appreciate…you will HEAL WOUNDS in the process. Hers. And yours.
As for those of you who are away, go and visit your mother. Call her often. Demonstrate your love. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE SICK BED OR THE FUNERAL. It is useless to come home to a lifeless body. COME HOME WHILE YOU CAN STILL LAUGH WITH HER. Take her to places she hasn’t been, do crazy things with her. Indulge her. Never count how much you spend for her.
Don’t wait until the funeral wake to buy her a gown.
BUY HER BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES WHILE SHE CAN STILL FLAUNT THEM TO HER FRIENDS, telling them endless stories about how proud she is of you.
DON’T RESERVE YOUR WORDS OF LOVE AT THE EULOGY.
Speak them to her ears while she can still hear. They’re priceless for a mother’s heart.
EMBRACE her so warm and tight today while she can feel it,
not the cold coffin someday while you grieve.
CRY WITH HER TODAY, whether from laughing so hard or from the memories you reminisce together.
So that even if you weep at the sepulcher one day, your heart is smiling knowing you’ve done all you can to make her feel special.
GIVE HER PERMISSION TO BRAG ABOUT YOU.
Don’t stop her. It gives her inexpressible joy.
DON’T LAUGH AT HER MISTAKES. The person you mistake for a stupid fool has given up so much so you can be “educated.”
Instead, BOAST ABOUT YOUR MOM to your friends. Don’t be so self-conscious to show how PROUD YOU ARE OF HER.
I tell you…That’s WAY, WAY BETTER than cheap flowers and chocolates. You’ll only give her a hiccup and diabetes.
FIND OUT WHAT WILL MAKE HER HAPPY. Don’t impose your own decisions upon her just because you think you know more.
Don’t remove her leadership just because she’s now at the mercy of your earnings. RESPECT HER POSITION IN THE FAMILY.
LISTEN not only to what she says. LISTEN TO WHAT HER HEART IS SAYING.
SHOW CONCERN about her complaints. Most of the times, she really doesn’t need a solution. SHE JUST NEEDS TO TALK ABOUT WHAT FRUSTRATES HER.
BUY HER FAVORITES… shoes, bags, or whatever. NEVER REMIND HER that she doesn’t need them and that you just bought new ones for her recently. The heck if she doesn’t get to use them all.
The most important thing is SHE FEELS IMPORTANT TO YOU.
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE HER while she can still savour it. Feel it. Sense it. Time flies by so fast you know.
What I am trying to say here is, don’t allow regrets to haunt you one day…Because no matter how you have fought and disagreed with her, your mother is still your mother. SHE IS A GIFT TO YOU. You won’t be where you are now without her.
BE GRATEFUL FOR THE PEOPLE YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE. Regardless.