Mother’s Day is not happy for everyone. Thankfully, I am blessed. I have with three nice (grown up) kids, all independent and successful. At least two are in meaningful relationships with nice people. They even take the time and make the effort to recognize Mother’s Day. A beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers that have the most wonderful aroma which fills the house. And I am grateful that they all call and spend time answering my sometimes inane questions, and listen to whatever it is I am doing. So I count my blessings.
What about those whose mother’s are no longer alive? And what about those who don’t have children of their own either out of choice or from biological or social necessity? And what about the children whose mothers are alive but sadly no longer available to them because of a falling out or have succumbed to the ravages of dementia or drugs and alcohol?
I am sure there are no Hallmark cards for these mothers. And no comfort for the children to directly express gratitude. And it’s the expression of gratitude that brings us the most satisfaction. Being able to say “thank you,” and really mean it, is the basis for true happiness.
Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this observation. I first read about the link between happiness and gratitude in Dennis Prager’s, Happiness is a Serious Problem. He also talked about the obligation to be happy. This helps others live healthful lives.
The other book that is important on the subject was written by Robert Emmons, Thank you! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. This more recent book addresses the neurophysiology of gratitude and how the biochemicals are those that cause feeling of happiness.
I hope that on this Mother’s Day you are at least able to say a prayer of gratitude for the gift of life that your mother gave to you. She carried you for 9 months (in most cases) and if nothing else, half of your DNA is hers. When we are not able to have the idealized relationship with our mothers (and conversely with our children), this small act of remembering might be enough to get you through this day with some small spark of warmth for someone special, more or less. Hopefully for most of you, more.