Today we honor the women who forever hold a special place in our hearts. We celebrate with dinners, kind words, cards and gifts, but those pale in comparison to what the day really signifies. For most of us, it means honoring the singular person in our lives who we held most dear from our earliest memories. Mother’s Day also honors those people who might not have had a biological role in our lives, but held the more important position of being there for us always. They cared for us when we sometimes thought no one else did and even talked straight to us when we didn’t want to hear it. Good moms have a power that no other person possesses to form who we are and provide an example of who to aspire to. That doesn’t mean they are perfect because that’s impossible, but they set the tone of our lives from the beginning. Bad mothers can do irreparable harm if no other support exists to fill that vacuum. Good mothers can be grandmothers, aunts, sisters or family friends who stepped into our lives at critical times to soothe our souls when we needed them most. They can be deeply flawed individuals who struggled with much but still showed us love that we felt to our core.
Defining a mother is difficult because so many attributes apply, but we know what it is. We feel it, experience it, depend on it and thrive on it. Many of us have lost our mothers, and that pain never ceases. We miss them being in our lives, being a rock that centers us and a voice that was always there. They exist in our hearts, and the best part of our beings reflects what she brought to our lives. For those of us who had good, loving mothers, we cannot fathom having anything less than that. For those who had complicated relationships with their mothers, we just hope there is or was love, for it’s the most important kind. Today we honor them but we hold that feeling every day, not just one day out of the year. Most of us do that, even if we don’t say it enough. At least today we will let those feelings be known to the person that warms our heart and brings us comfort. That’s what moms do, after all. They bring love and comfort to a world that doesn’t always feel that way. That’s an amazing gift to give another human being.