“Be a Mother who is committed to loving her children into standing on higher ground
than the environment surrounding them.
Mothers are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth.”
(the styling and profiling Mayor / Julie Cook / 2020)
(The ever smiling Sheriff / Julie Cook / 2020)
What does a Pandemic Mother’s day look like?
Well, I’m not certain.
I wasn’t certain what a Pandemic St. Partick’s day would look like.
Nor what a locked-down Pandemic Easter would look like.
I didn’t know what a 1st birthday would look like as we hunkered down inside…
Nor did I know what a festive Cinco de Mayo would be from home.
What I do know, however, is that we celebrated together none the less.
We lived through and did the best we could with what we had
and with what we could do…making the most of the simple and reserved.
And now I suppose this Mother’s Day will be much the same.
We will miss those who are not with us to celebrate just as we will mourn those who
have gone on ahead of us.
We will grieve for those who now grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice.
It has not been easy on you living here these past two and half months…
away from your own home, your comfort and familiarity, as well as that of
your own complete little family.
Yet we’ve each done the best we could do.
And so, on this Pandemic Mother’s Day,
I want to thank you for allowing me to share your children.
I want to thank you for allowing me to share in the day to day caregiving
You have been gracious in allowing me to be that now missing and yet extra parent.
There are only three people in my life who I am related to by blood—
and you and I share those three people.
One of those three I have shared with you while you in turn have shared two with me…
And so I thank you for that.
Long ago, one of my own mother’s favorite folks was Erma Bombeck.
She was that folksy, common sense female author and journalist so endeared by
“the commmon woman.”
She was a woman who didn’t need hashtag movements, protests, marches or amendments to know that,
as a woman, she could and would make a difference in the lives of others…all the while, doing
so with a deeply rich and delicious humor.
She was self-deprecating in the best sense of the word.
She knew how to laugh at herself as she invited others to laugh as well.
At that particular time in our culture, Erma Bombeck was the sole spokeswoman
for the most underappreciated being on the planet…that being the mom…
and in particular, the stay at home mom.
My mom was a stay at home mom.
An often lonely and mostly underappreciated role.
She was a woman who did not have extra money like those of her working friends.
She was a woman who didn’t have fancy clothes or a nice car, or a super nice house.
She was a simple woman who probably would have enjoyed being complicated.
A woman who knew how to make $50 dollars a month feed a family of four
while sewing clothes for school.
A woman who knew what it meant to hurt and suffer as one of her children
battled mental illness.
A woman who bore cancer, and its eventual loss of life, without nary a complaint.
And so I share with you a tale by Erma Bombeck—a piece
about when God created mothers—-something my mom certainly understood
and something I think you may already understand.
Happy Mother’s Day to my daughter-in-law…
“When God Created Mothers”
When the Good Lord was creating mothers,
He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said.
“You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?”
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic.
Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable.
Run on black coffee and leftovers.
Have a lap that disappears when she stands up.
A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair.
And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said.
“Six pairs of hands….no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked,
“it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks,
‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows.
Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know,
and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say,
‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently,
“Get some rest tomorrow….”
I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself.
Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…
can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…
and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
But tough!” said God excitedly.
“You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Can it think?”
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced.
“I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
It’s not a leak,” said the Lord,
“It’s a tear.”
What’s it for?”
It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
You are a genius, ” said the angel.
Somberly, God said,
“I didn’t put it there.”
― Erma Bombeck, When God Created Mothers