I was away visiting friends last weekend, so wasn’t really thinking about much else. And I was nowhere near a computer, so there was no regular Sunday post.
But this morning, I woke up thinking about Mothers. Given that today is Mother’s Day in Britain, that is not really surprising.
My own Mum died in 2012, at the age of 87. She always loved Mother’s Day, expecting my attendance for a meal, and looking forward to the large card she received without fail. I always brought a gift too, but she was never bothered about that, much preferring to read the words in the card, and whatever short note I had added. When I was a child, one of my relatives would buy me a card and gift to give her, or I would make something at school. She kept all of those, and every card I ever gave her, throughout the next sixty years.
I have no doubt that I often took her for granted, especially during my teens. My clothes were washed and ironed, a meal always on the table, and support for everything from my stressful exams, to my first job, was given without reservation. During problems in adult life, she was always on my side. But if she thought I had made the wrong choice about something, she was quick to caution me about my decision. Nothing was too much trouble for her, as far as her child was concerned. She was a good mother, an excellent mother. One of the great mothers.
But with few exceptions, aren’t they all?
Whether sheltering in a refugee tent in Syria, dealing with a drug-addicted child in Edinburgh, or living with a severely-disabled child in India, mothers all around the world do nothing but show devotion to their children. The same cannot always be said of fathers, unfortunately, though some are undoubtedly excellent.
In my experience, becoming a mother brings on a fundamental change in a woman. As the baby is handed to them, something happens inside, that unconditional love that endures. Whether that child eventually turns out to be a University Professor, a world-famous doctor, a coal-miner, or nurse, the love of a mother never dwindles, and remains the same as the child becomes an adult. Even the mothers of serial killers and fraudsters still love their children. They will forgive us almost anything, driven by that magical connection of carrying us inside their bodies.
So today I send a salute to all mothers, wherever you are.
We couldn’t have done it without you.