by Pat Franklin
Mother’s Day is over again, thank goodness. Why do we put ourselves through this every year?
I am always glad when Mother’s Day (and every other holiday) is over. In England, where we live, it is the last Sunday of March. In America it is the first Sunday of May.
Why do I, a mother of two, not like Mother’s Day? For a start, any holiday like this which is supposed to be sweet and nice in fact brings an enormous load of sadness, hurt, and bitterness to many people.
I am thinking partly of the women who were never blessed with children, and Mother’s Day for many of them is a terrible trial. For their sakes alone I would dispense with it.
Then there are the children who simply forget it, do not send a card, do not visit or phone. Mothers should understand; their grown up kids are just human and very busy; it is easy to forget. So why is it like a sword in your heart if they do forget? Even for me. One year they both forgot. I should not mind, right? Wrong. I felt like I would die of grief. Stupid, yes, but we are only human.
Also, let’s face it – it is a burden for the kids once they are grown up with families of their own, busy lives, perhaps living some distance away, with not enough money, and yet expected to drive long distances and buy a gift.
Then, once they are married, there are two mothers to be visited. Oh dear. Which one gets the visit? Do you try to squeeze both in? Does one mother insist it be her? This would be comic if deep human emotions were not involved.
Can’t we just accept that we love each other all the time and do not need some special day when a card has to be purchased, flowers have to be bought, time has to be found to fit in a visit etc. Let’s have mercy on our kids and get this day off our calendars. That will never happen, of course, but I wish it would.
I opened a desk drawer the other day where I keep a selection of cards bought in advance. There was a fancy Mother’s Day card. Pang in the heart. For this is the first year I no longer have a mother or mother-in-law. I have a beautiful card and no mother to send it to.
I am so glad the church we attend does not make a big deal about Mother’s Day. In fact on Sunday it was not mentioned once, and I think the Lord was very pleased about this. We go there to honour and praise the Lord Jesus, not to praise our mothers, much as we might love them.
I know churches which make such an issue of Mother’s Day that women without children just stay home that day to avoid the pain it would cause them.
Mother’s Day started as Mothering Sunday in England in Victorian times, and it was a day when servants were allowed to go home and visit their mothers once a year. How very generous of those aristocrats to give their little servant girls one day a year off. Gee thanks, Lord and Lady Bountiful.
It morphed into Mother’s Day, and how the card companies love it, along with all the other manufactured holidays. I wish they would scrap them all, Santa Claus and the Easter bunny included, and start all over again and try to get it right this time.
Our daughter said that one reason she loves living in Israel is that all the holidays are biblical feast days. In the West people know nothing of those feasts, although they are crucially important. In fact they are themselves an outline of human history, and reveal what the next great event will be, as we point out in our books. In case you are wondering, it is the Rapture of the church, typified in the fifth feast, the Feast of Trumpets, the feast which was also called ‘Feast when no one knows the day nor the hour’.
From Mother’s Day, somehow we ended up with the Rapture, a good place to end up!