Commentary: Mother’s Day

Tennessee Star


Mother’s Day is a day of celebration. Saying something bad about someone’s mother is usually grounds for a fight. Even hardened criminals love their mom.

When a mother looks at her newborn child it is perhaps the purest love ever known. In the Book of Ezekiel, chapter 16, verse 4 it says: “As is the mother, so is her daughter.” Ralph Waldo Emerson added: “Men are what their mothers made them.” Edgar Allen Poe wrote: “Because I feel that, in the Heavens above / The angels, whispering to one another, / Can find, among their burning terms of love / None so devotional as that of ‘Mother.’”

Tennessee Star

On Mother’s Day we get to honor our first best friend and the person you always turn to when you need guidance. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is well beyond calculation. Mothers hold their child’s hand but for a fleeting moment, but they remain in their hearts forever. Gail Tsukiyama wrote: “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

We are probably unaware of the unseen contributions a mother has in each one of our lives. Her prayers began for us in her womb and have been there through our life. The depths of those prayers have been a source of untold strength. She knew what you meant, not how you acted. Laura Stavoe Harm said: “We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”

For many of us, our mother is a role model, a hero, a trusted confidant. We want her to be proud of us. In fact, if she is the only person proud of us, we deem ourselves a success. A mother’s love for her child is relentless, her love persistent and unbending.

She can be an unsolicited advisor and serve as your conscience. The late Erma Bombeck reminded us: “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” Mothers are wise and always right. Well, mostly right.

It is said, the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. I have found that to be the bedrock of my own marriage. If you look at how men treat their own mother, it gives you a pretty good idea of how they will treat their wife.

This Mother’s Day appreciate the woman you call Mom, Mama or Mother. If you are celebrating a motherless Mother’s Day, regardless of the pain, try to reflect on those lessons she taught you. The women in my life, especially my mother and my wife, have contributed so incredibly to the person I am today. I honor them. And I honor all women on this day.

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JC Bowman is the Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association. He resides in Nashville with his beautiful wife. His mother still lives in his hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the association are properly cited.



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