So Close, So Far, Happy Mother’s Day

by Kevin Burton

   Honoring my mom on Mother’s Day is a joy that I do not take for granted.  It’s just not as easy this year.

   Each part of life, as it arrives on the calendar, goes through this strange virus filter. At first this was surreal, then it became numbing.

   Now Mother’s Day goes through that filter.

   Our memories spin back to special dinners, outings, small gatherings.  Last year my wife and I, my brother and his wife all went to my mom’s place. We had Casey’s pizza and chocolate ice cream. 

   If I recall correctly we all went to Stroud’s restaurant one other year. Leftovers lasted a week, memories lasting a lifetime.

   I’m hoping to go back to something like that next year, family being together, love on the menu.  But today brought with it a sense of melancholy.

   About three years ago my mother moved to the town where I live.  Our houses are within easy walking distance of each other, about three minutes apart. So close.

   But there will be no big Mother’s Day hug this year because of the virus.  Social distancing saves lives, when people do it. With what we know so far about the virus, not doing the social distancing is about fourteen shades of stupid.

   So this year the hug is an IOU. For now, I enjoy her company largely by means of my famous flip phone.

   I have never been one to let a greeting card company dictate to me when to honor my valentine, my siblings or other loved ones.  So this socially-distant Mother’s Day is a notable bummer, but not the end of the world.

   Maybe this year we can celebrate Mother’s Day on July 4th.  The timing sounds about right and that would keep my mind off how much this country has deteriorated.

   Strange as things are for my family this year, others have it worse. So many people have lost their mothers. If the death was recent, Mother’s Day can be especially painful. Many have poured their love into heartfelt tributes. 

   Here is a short version of mine.

   To say I struggled to gain entrance into journalism after college is a vast understatement.  I had some writing skill but I didn’t have much of anything else. I didn’t have what it takes to compete in the job market. Plus I was legally blind, which is a huge barrier we have talked about before on Page 7.

   Clueless and blind in Reagan’s America, I collected a fistful of rejection letters.

   There was a time when my mother was the only one who believed in me, including me.  Her encouragement was steady, during unsteady times.

   More importantly, my mother was the example I needed to put my faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.  The changes I saw in her after she was saved in 1977 gave me reason to investigate the truths in the Bible. This was during my junior year in high school.

   She was also the one dispensing Campbell’s chicken noodle soup after those particularly trying days in kindergarten.

  We did not and do not always see eye to eye.  But her love and support have not wavered to this day.

    So I will pamper my mom as best I can during these strange times.  If your mother is still living, you have that privilege too.

   If your mother is gone, she is not justa memory. That’s because as long as there is breath in you, she lives. And as long as she lives through you, she can have an influence over people places and things.

   This is true for everyone, but I think it’s especially true for those of you who are mothers now. You have a special opportunity to do mom proud.

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