Anyone who reads my columns in the Kewanee Star-Courier and on my online blog from time to time may have figured out that I can be a bit of a cynic when it comes to certain holidays. While I love those important days and seasons with family, patriotic and religious meaning, like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Independence Day, I am, admittedly, less enthusiastic about those that I feel have been mostly generated and maintained by greeting card companies and candy manufacturers.
But not Mother's Day.
While it's most certainly among those most adored by the aforementioned card-and-chocolate guys, it's also a special day that's most richly deserved by the moms we honor.
It's been over 30 years since my own mother passed away early on a beautiful spring day. And while they're right when they say time heals a lot of wounds, I have not forgotten her.
In fact, I miss her nearly every day.
I miss the fact that she never got to be a grandma to my own kids. I miss the stories she told about her own school days and growing up in Galva.
I miss her meatloaf.
I miss the way she always encouraged me to do the things that would make me happy and fulfilled. I miss the way she lovingly told me when she thought I was wrong.
I miss the way she loved the girl who became my wife.
I miss the things she dared to do. Like the time there were no volunteers to coach my little league baseball team. Now, I realize that many wives (including my own) coach kids' sports teams nowadays, but in those days it was pretty well unheard of. We took a lot of heat from the other kids when they heard she and another mom would be coaching us. Things quieted down pretty quickly, though, because we were fantastic! My mom's theory of coaching was everyone plays every position, which made it fun, exciting, a little nerve-racking and highly successful, as we learned to play as a team, no matter who was on the mound, behind the plate or out in right field.
I miss the feel of her hand on my face.
I miss the way she laughed and listened and shared her own memories, like the fateful December day she discovered that her own father was actually Santa Claus.
I miss the way she remembered.
Sometimes, when I least expect it, I think of how much she would have enjoyed all the things we do and think and feel as parents and grandparents ourselves. And I wish I had one more chance to talk with her.
I know what I'd say:
I miss you, mom. Happy Mother's Day.