Today I’m writing of my post-Mother’s Day thoughts.
I admit to a bit of a love-hate relationship with what I’ve commonly called the “Hallmark Holidays.” On one hand, I appreciate certain days being set aside to specifically remind us to be grateful for the people who enrich our lives. On the other, it’s a little sad that we need to be reminded in the first place. More importantly, why is it so hard to be grateful every day?
I’m better with some people than others. My own mother and I are very close and talk daily despite living in different states. But I only speak with my father twice per week…and he is older and suffering with a chronic illness. Logic would dictate I’d give more of my attention to the older, sicker parent, right? So what gives?
I could easily blame the lopsidedness on things like the fact that my mom is easier to talk to about all manner of nonsense, or that she and I are closer because, after my parents’ divorce, I spent much more time with her than him, or that he and I have a more tenuous relationship based on things done and said throughout the decades. All of these excuses are true, and yet the cold hard truth is simply that I do not make the effort. It is not part of my routine. And when he is gone, I will probably feel some measure of guilt about what I didn’t do…the time I didn’t take.
Then I look at my own kids and wonder, what will it be like when I’m in my seventies? Will I be very present in their lives, or a passing thought or obligation on their own long to-do list? Will the mistakes I’ve made as a mother become the justification of their own laziness about keeping in touch? Is there something I could do now to ensure a better outcome?
I don’t know the answers, but I also doubt a sparkly card from Hallmark means a hill of beans when all is said and done. I’d prefer little day-to-day “thinking of you” deeds to an annual bouquet of flowers that withers and dies too soon, and I suspect most of the people I love feel that way too.
So, in the words of James Taylor, I’m thinking I need to find better ways to “shower the people [I] love with love”…how about you?