Monday, May 12, 2008

Post-Mother's Day

I'm a firm believer in the conspiracy theory that Hallmark is behind most non-vacation holidays while the banking industry is behind most vacation holidays. Cynical, party of one, your table is ready. And until today I thought Mother's Day was just such a Hallmark fiction. But then I read a bit of the origin story of Mother's Day on a friend's blog. Did anyone else know it started as a protest for peace?

I find this particularly interesting because this year I felt like honoring a mom who isn't mine or my mother-in-law. She's a family friend whose son, who is my age, is currently serving in Iraq. One day awhile ago she received a call at work from his branch of the armed services. Imagine all the thoughts that ran through her head between being told who was calling for her and that long walk to the phone. Thankfully they were just calling to check on her and see if she needed anything. But phone call or not, those thoughts must be running through her head all the time. She puts a brave face on whenever she talks to her son. This Mother's Day I wanted to let her know that she's an amazing mom for supporting her son, even though she didn't choose for him to join the armed services. She's an amazing mom for waking up and going to work every day with all those thoughts running through her head. She's an amazing mom because at this stage in her life I bet she thought worrying about her son wouldn't be such intense work.

And she's just one of hundreds of thousands of moms worrying about children in the U.S. armed services. What if we took back Mother's Day from commercialism? What if we made it more than just a day to especially honor our own mom's, which should be every day? What if we honored its origins as a call to unite women against war?

While you ponder that for the 363 days until the next Mother's Day, read a Mother's Day greeting to Nancy Pelosi from Karen Meredith, the mother of Lt. Ken Ballard, who was killed in Najaf, Iraq four years ago.

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