Saturday, May 7, 2016
Dee and her mom, 2012.
Mother’s Day is one of those rare Greeting Card Holidays with a respectable pedigree. Its originator, one Anne Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia, had initiated its observance 1908 as a way to memorialize her own mother... and in later years she was horrified at how commercialized the day had become, thanks to the incessant blandishments of the greeting card, florist, and restaurant industries.
But most of us walk this planet by the grace of being of mother born, and so it’s entirely appropriate to set aside one day of the year to glorify and honor All Things Maternal.
I’ve got three mothers that are the primary focus of my thoughts on this occasion: my own mother, now departed over twenty-eight years; Dee, the mother of our two daughterly children; and Dee’s mother.
Dee’s mom lives in Foat Wuth, where she still puts in a day a week working retail. She has had a lot on her plate this year, what with one son having undergone heart valve surgery and the other dealing with deep vein thrombosis... and her daughter still recovering from a broken hip and wrist. But she’s a tough bird, determined to do things her own way (even if it drives her children nuts).
Bernice, the Momma d’Elisson (z''l) in her 1949 college graduation photo.
My mom lives in Olam ha-Ba - the World to Come, where she has been resident for close to three decades, as well as in the memories of those who knew and loved her. I think of her whenever I eat duck, whenever I drink Scotch or Campari (she was not much of a cocktail hound, but she did love an occasional Rob Roy or Campari and soda), whenever I play golf or tennis, whenever I read a science fiction novel, and whenever I do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. In the best of all possible worlds, she would have had a few more decades to enjoy her sons, her daughter-in-law, and her granddaughters... but, alas, it was not to be.
And then there’s Dee, who became a mother almost thirty-seven years ago when Elder Daughter (then Only Daughter) appeared on the scene. Dee was, and continues to be, a wonderful mom to our girls... certainly not her only skill-set, and by no means her defining role, but the one that is relevant to the occasion being celebrated. Navigating the waters of motherhood as your children grow into fully-fledged adults isn’t the easiest task, but we have been blessed with sweet, bright daughters who love their Mom without reservations, qualifications, or limits... and I know that it’s mutual.
I’ll raise a glass to these three Moms. Now: what should be in the glass?