Sunday, Honor Thy Mother
coming Sunday is the day to honor Mothers, so this
column is written in honor of all of them, my
own mother included. She died when I was eighteen months
old and I’ve always regretted not being able
to celebrate this day with her. The sad thing is she
died from what today could have been corrected by simple
I have faded pictures of her but they have never filled the void in my heart.
Over the years when I’d question my father and other relatives on what
she was like, they’d tell me she was a kind and beautiful person who loved
her family very much.
As nice as those things were to hear I knew there had to be more to her than
that. I longed to know the whole person. Did she get angry? Did she have moody
days? What were her likes and dislikes? So many questions were left unanswered.
I had two stepmothers, one from age 3 to 9 years old and one from age 12 until
a few years ago when she died. Why the first one married my father is a mystery
to me. Even more perplexing is why she married my father. She didn’t like
children and there were three of us girls. She was what some might refer to as
the “Cinderella stepmother.”
My father remarried when I was almost thirteen and my sisters, by then grown,
were on their own. She was a very shy, timid woman who did her best to understand
what it meant to raise a teen-age daughter, but a true mother daughter relationship
never developed. We remained on good terms throughout the years but we were more
like two women living in the same house for different reasons, she as my dad’s
wife and me as his daughter. I know, from observing other families, that there
are some wonderful stepmother and stepdaughter relationships, but for us, that
bond never quite materialized.
Growing up, I always felt like an outsider and envied my friends who would hurry
home to share their joys with their mother or turn to them in times of trouble.
She was the one person in the world who would listen to them and would love them
no matter what. I’d feel sad when any one of them talked badly about their
mothers and I’d let them know how I felt. I still have that same reaction
today when I see or hear someone putting their mother down or not showing them
the love, care, and tenderness they deserve. I know one day those missed opportunities
will come back to haunt them.
As the mother of a daughter and son I know what it is like for a mother to love
her children, and to be loved by them in return. What I don’t know is that
feeling of being loved by a mother. Today I am a great grandmother, yet a day
never passes that I don’t I think of my mother and believe that somewhere
she is still watching over me. I like to think she is proud of me for the way
I’ve confronted life without her presence. I think she knows I’ve
always had her in my heart.
So to all of you whose mothers are still living, I hope you will make this Sunday
a very special day by showing them how much you love and appreciate them. To
all of you who are mothers I honor you for all the love and guidance you have
given your children and I wish you the very best Mother’s Day ever with
the hope there will be many more yet to celebrate.
resident Joey Franklin, retired from more than three decades
of full-time work in the newspaper business, now writes
a monthly column for Spectrum.
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