The United States of America celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May every year. Last year (2020), Mother’s Day fell on May 10th. It was 112 years ago, on May 10th, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation, her mother’s favorite flower, to each person who attended her mother’s memorial service. Within the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity, and Mother’s Day was observed in several large cities in the United States. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. He established the day as a time for “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” By then, it had become customary to wear white carnations to honor departed mothers and red to honor the living, a custom that continues to this day. There are over 46 countries in the world celebrating Mother’s Day now.
There is an unbreakable biological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual relationship between a mother and her child. As the mother and the child grow older, their relationship may become better or worse, depending on the living environment and living conditions. However, this relationship is acclaimed to be a model for a healthy human relationship between two individuals.
“An unbreakable biological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual relationship…”
All of us grew up with our own personal experiences with our mothers. Most of them are positive, and some of them may be negative. A couple of days ago, I was talking to a person who shared with me the story of a 34-year-old woman who ran away with her boyfriend, leaving behind her husband and two kids. One of this woman’s kids called her a “Devilish Woman.” It is undoubtedly painful and heartbreaking, though it is an isolated event.
It made me wonder and ask myself, does a woman become a mother simply by giving birth to a child? In my opinion, the answer is Yes and No. By giving birth to a child, a woman becomes a mother biologically; but not emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Most of the time, these aspects are much more important than just the biological aspect of giving birth. A woman becomes a mother not only when she is ready and willing to break her womb and breast but give her very life for her children. It is like a grain of seed breaking itself to produce life, lest it stay as a single grain. Mother’s Day is meant to honor and appreciate those women who break their lives for the sake of their children and family.
My perspective on mothers is very much colored by my personal experience with my beloved mother, whom I call an “uncanonized saint.” She always put herself last and her family first. She is the first woman who kissed me; the first woman who talked to me; the only woman who fed me with her milk and nourished me with her love. Every day she broke herself to give life to her children and husband. I could always experience clearly in her a woman blooming to be a mother of seven children. A mother of love, a mother of compassion, and a mother of understanding. A silent saint who kept everything in her heart!
It is not only my mother’s case (though I can only speak about my mother) but several millions of mothers in the world, both living and deceased. A Mother is a gift; nay a treasure; no, an angel; no, she is next to God Himself. No human life here on earth is traditionally possible without the help and support of a mother. Therefore, we say, “Maternity is a Matter of Fact, and Paternity is a Matter of Opinion.” We salute all the mothers, both living and deceased, on this occasion of Mother’s Day. We Love you, Mom, and Love You Dearly and Deeply! We wish all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!
Fr. Tomy J. Puliyan, MSFS
“ Holiness and Happiness through Wellness and Wholeness!”