Mother's Day

Hearing From You

Each year on Mother's Day, one of the women in our church sponsors the alter flower displays with this dedication: "To all the mothers who won't hear from their children on this day." I don't know this woman well, so I don't understand the particular story behind her annual message. Is she a mother who is estranged from her child? Did her child go missing and was never recovered? And the fact that she refers to "children" also disturbs me. Does she have more than one child she "won't hear from"? I've asked some of my friends at church who have been members there longer than I, yet no one seems to know the history of this poignant message.As a mother, I think it would be devastating to be ignorant of what's happening in your child's life. My son and I had a ritual that developed as soon as he started school~started having a life away from home, so to speak~a ritual he called "day telling." Sometimes it took place over dinner, but most often at bedtime. And yes, it was largely another delaying tactic in his never ending effort to avoid sleep. But I fell for it every time, because I loved hearing every miniscule detail of his day, of the time he spent apart from me. Naturally, when children grow up and have lives and families of their own, we don't expect the same level of communication. But I'm still just as tickled to hear his voice on the phone as I was to hear him call out that it was "day telling time." Mothers need to "hear from their children," no matter what age or stage of life they're in.

Every Mother's Day, my heart goes out to this woman. When I see her in Coffee Hour, I want to hug her, to say how sorry I am that she doesn't hear from her child, for whatever reason.

I consider my own good fortune on this Mother's Day, my luck in having a son whom I "hear from" on a regular basis, and who still happily shares stories of his day, as well as a mother whom I speak with (if not spend time with!) nearly every day, sharing the good and not so good news of our daily lives.

And for all those mothers whose lines of communication with their children have been severed, may you "hear from them" very soon.


In an effort to enable more mothers to hear from their children in days to come, consider visting CODEPINK and joining the effort to celebrate Mother's Day in its original spirit - a day when American women unite for an end to war. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for action with her Mother's Day Proclamation:
We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.