The history of Mother’s Day arose in 1900s by Anna Jarvis, whose mother died in 1905. Anna conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year. This year, Mother’s Day is on May 9, 2021.
With Mother’s Day, we commemorate the many ways mothers have fought to better the lives of their children, from social welfare to non-violence. We also honor the way mothers have raised and nurtured their children with love and courage.
There are lots of poems written to praise and remember mothers, like the one below:
For all the times that I forgot to “thank you”
For all the special, little things you do,
For all the words that sometimes go unspoken,
I need to say, “I love you, Mom… I do.”
I love you for the way you stop and listen,
And for your support throughout the years,
For teaching me the meaning of compassion,
And sharing in my triumphs and my tears.
And if, at times, I may have seemed ungrateful,
I want to say, “I truly hope you see,
That nothing you have done has been forgotten,
And day by day, you mean more to me.”
Often times, we talked about the love, the time, the bonding, the self-sacrifice, the nurture, the support that mothers provide to their children, and the close relationship between them. However, there are some who cannot relate. For some who may have a complicated and problematic relationship (e.g. abusive mother, absent mother…), it is hard to celebrate Mother’s Day.
To work through the grief of such relationship takes time and compassion.
Time is the best remedy to pain. We need time for ourselves to be vulnerable, time for ourselves to experience the pain, time for ourselves to recognize our strengths, time for ourselves to grow emotionally, time for ourselves to love ourselves, and time for ourselves to heal.
I define compassion as ‘Understanding with empathy’. The Dalai Lama once said that ‘compassion is a necessity, not a luxury”. It is a process of connecting by identifying with another person, which leads to increased motivation to do something in an effort to relieve the suffering of others. Understanding with empathy leads to forgiveness. We may not agree with what our mother’s deeds, but we can understand the history and experiences our mother went through, bringing her to such a decision or a behaviour. We empathize our mother’s suffering and pain, and through this process, brings forgiveness. Not forgiving brings pain and suffering to ourselves, forgive brings internal peace and reconciliation.
On Mother’s Day, what is your reflection? It is our choice to help ourselves move forward for a better life or stay with the dark shadow that continuously haunting us.
In ending, I would like to share the following poem that was originally written by Guillermo Peña in Spanish and translated into English by Sergio Cadena.
Letter from a Mother to a Daughter
“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say. “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.
I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you. I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.”