Remember Those Who Endure Mother's Day - And Response (2)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

For weeks now we've been seeing ads for Mother's Day gifts as well as store display urging people to do something special for the mothers they love so much...mothers who also love them. Although mothers should be shown appreciation every day, it's nice that one day a year is set aside as a special reminder...but at the same time that day is like a knife in the heart for many.

Sure, there are those who urge us to remember the widows, and those who have lost their mother to death...but does anyone give a thought to those who either never knew a mother's love, or had an abusive mother that they would just as soon forget? For them this day is a painful reminder that they've never had (nor will ever have) something that most people take for granted; rather than having the memories that so many cherish, their memories are those of longing and/or abuse.

As you celebrate the day with your mom - or are blessed (yes, blessed) to mourn the loss of a mother whom you love very much - take a moment to say a prayer for those who can only try to imagine what it's like to have a mom who cherishes them.  

Arlene Michelle
East Ridge 

* * *

Ms. Michelle is good to mention that Mother’s day “ like a knife in the heart for many” and poses a poignant question when she asks, “…..does anyone give a thought to those who either never knew a mother's love, or had an abusive mother that they would just as soon forget?” 

Please allow me to add another group ill affected by this day of tribute, and that is the group of mothers and children affected by child alienation and estrangement.  Though seldom mentioned, this social affliction is extremely common and becoming more so.     

The great dramatist and wit Oscar Wilde showed tremendous insight when he said, ““Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” To that I would add, “And sometimes they don’t.” 

There are mothers, perhaps many mothers, who would have been better at mothering than they were, but issues like circumstance, disorders, immaturity or bad judgment interfered; sometimes leaving these women with regrets and the children scarred. 

But by the same token, there are daughters and sons who bring out their personal scales of justice, hang their imperfect mother in the balance, find her wanting, and levy harsh judgment.  Thus, a state of alienation, or estrangement, is reached.  Sometimes the child so affected becomes even bitter, hateful or an outright ingrate.   

Not being a psychiatrist I offer no insight into reconciliation of mothers and children so estranged, but as Ms. Michelle offered sympathy for those who never knew a mother’s love, it seemed worthwhile to extend recognition those mothers and children hurt by the rejection of it.
Carnations for all affected may be in order. 

David Saluk 

* * * 

I would add one more group to this list--those of us who, either by choice or by circumstance, are childless.  I could not begin to tell you of all the rude questions I (and many friends) have endured over the years.  I have a great mom, who thankfully is still living, as is my boyfriend's wonderful mother.  They are what make Mother's Day bearable.   

Please be considerate and don't ask single people any variable on the "when are you getting married?" theme.  Don't ask any woman when or if she's planning to have children, or doesn't she want children, etc.  Some don't want them, some want them but can't have them, and some just aren't ready yet or haven't found the right man (or woman) with whom they want to have a child.   

Regardless, it is not your place to ask or even any of your business.  My meemaw used to say, "If people want you to know, they'll tell you, so don't ask."  Too bad more mothers and grandmothers didn't teach the same manners. 

Also rude: Why are you getting divorced?  How do you stay so thin--don't you ever eat?  Are you anorexic or something?  Anything to do with money.  Sadly, tact and politeness seem to be extinct, but rudeness thrives like cacti in the desert.  

Kim Kinsey
Red Bank

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