We all have mothers, whether they are still with us or gone to their reward. I was fortunate to have three mothers and a mother-in-law that was more of a mom than an in-law. They are all gone now, but I still think of them every day. This is my tribute to mothers, both yours and mine, on this year’s special day for them.
A bit of background before I continue. I was adopted at 8 weeks old. That gave me my birth mother, who I met when I was in my early 30s, and my adopted mom, who I met at 8 weeks or sooner. My birth parents split soon after I was adopted, and my dad remarried my natural stepmom who, it turned out, was the best of the three, and I met her in my late 30s. Then I married right out of high school and my mother-in-law welcomed me to the family as I had been born into it. So I had three moms and one special mom-in-law.
Well, Mom, it has been some years now since I was able to see your beautiful smile on this, your special day. Mom, I think of you often as I make my way through this world. Many is the time I go to the phone to call you to ask for advice about a dish I am cooking or maybe that crochet stitch I just can’t seem to master. Then I remember that you aren’t there to answer. So, instead of being able to hear your voice, I sit and talk to you like you were here. I must say, Mom, I have had answers from the living that aren’t as special as the ones you give me in your absence.
I know that back in the day when I was growing up, I wasn’t the angel you made me out to be. Well, unless those two things sticking out of my head were my halo mounts. But even though I was a terror at times, you were still there to heal the boo-boos with a kiss and maybe a Band-Aid. The one time of the week, though that we could have done away with, was Saturday evening when, after we had our bath, out came the cod liver oil, the Fletcher’s Castoria and the castor oil. Mom, those things were nasty. I know they were for my own good so I could stay healthy, but between that and the shots we had to endure . . .
I remember the times when we had our Sunday School program at Christmas and Easter. You were sitting as close to the front as you could get and I saw the biggest and brightest smile of all the parents and it was on your face. Then there were our school programs and the smile was the same.
After I married and joined the military and began a family of my own, we seemed to grow apart, but you were always just a call away. Then when we came home and you met your grandchildren the first time, I saw that same bright special smile that I remembered from so long ago.
Time slipped by, and now you are gone.
I don’t know, Mom, if I told you enough while you were here, but thank you for all the time you devoted to making me the person I turned out to be. I hope you were as proud as you looked during our programs. And Mom, I want to tell you again, I love you, if at all possible more now than then, as now I know what I had when you were here.
I want to say to my “moms” and all the moms who read this: Happy Mother’s Day, and my wish for you is a great many more.
Children, both older and very young, never ever take Mom for granted. As often as you can, thank her for all she does for you, and most importantly, tell her how much you love her. Take it from me, you truly never know what you have till it’s gone.
Guy Woodworth, a Presque Isle native now living in Limestone, is a 1973 graduate of Presque Isle High School and a four-year Navy veteran. He and his wife Theresa have two grown sons and five grandchildren. He may be contacted at email@example.com.