National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.

Mother Remembered

Now that many of us have spent some Earth Day and Arbor Day time in total awe of the power and beauty of Mother Nature in shaping our existence, it is time to focus on the celebration of a much more personal shaper of each of us — our mothers.

Every one of us was brought into the world by a mother.  Reproductive sciences may be able to help with in-vitro fertilization or in screening for genetic diseases, but somewhere along the line, a mom (not to mention a dad) was very heavily involved in the process. 

Mothers are amazing creatures. We owe our lives to them and in most cases the growth and development of our attitudes and behaviors. Though family structure has changed especially fast in recent decades, most single-parent households are headed by moms. Shamelessly reinterpreting a line from the anthem of the British Empire, “Land of Hope and Glory,” let us consider “How can we extol thee, we who are born of thee?”

Our mothers, perhaps even more than our dads, introduce us into the world of relationships. They nurture us and support us as we cry tears of joy at a wedding or a graduation. They hug us and comfort us as we cry tears of grief and sadness when we experience something terrible. They may be the first people we think of when we need to call, Skype or email for advice or help. We may return home to live with them after we have “left home” as about 20 percent of children between ages 25 and 34 do in our country. (In 1980, in case you are curious, that number was about 11 percent.) They may also be dependent on us later in their lives and live with us, as about 4 percent do.

We often take them for granted or whine incessantly at them as children when we can’t have our way often pushing them to the brink of insanity with our stubbornness. Yet they are there for us. They change our diapers, sing our lullabies, wipe our noses and see to our needs for food, learning and security. They put up with our “terrible twos” even when that period of annoying behavior lasts well past a one-year period.

We often do not appreciate all that they went through for us and how much our lives really represent an extension of their own hopes and dreams.  That appreciation may not come until after they have passed away.

It is altogether fitting to create a holiday celebrating mothers, notwithstanding the urging of the greeting card companies. They fully deserve our applause and honor every day of the year.

Mom, for all that you have done for me, for all that you have done that I may never realize, and in sincere apology for all the opportunities I missed to be more in your life than I was, I thank you and award you my personal medal for bravery and service far above and beyond the call. I am what I am because of you.

How can I best extol thee? I can honor you and the people and causes about which you cared. I can insure that your life, with all its passion and caring, becomes ingrained in the mind of my own beautiful daughters and grandchildren.  I can see that you live on and on through them and through me.

Rest well, Mother, in the knowledge that you are remembered as a woman of valor and as the shaper of the lives of others.

Phil Rosenberg
The HR Doctor Desktop •


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