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On Mother’s Day and Every Day

On Mother’s Day and Every Day

 by LaBrena Friend, LBSW

 Mother’s Day is a special day where we take time to honor the women in our lives.  It is a reminder to reach out and express our love and gratitude.  For me, this year is bittersweet as it marks a decade since my mom’s passing when I was only 30 years old.  My mother, Phyllis Friend, was a wonderful and dedicated mom.  I treasure every lesson I ever learned from her. Although her physical presence is no longer here, her wisdom guides me daily.  The most impactful gift she gave me was making sure I knew and had a relationship with God.

 This Mother’s Day, I find myself wondering:  Did I show my mom enough love when she was here? Did she know how much she meant to me? Did I appreciate her enough?  How can we show our loved ones how much they mean to us while we still have the chance–what can I do for Mother’s Day that will truly make a difference to my mom?

Mother’s Day is usually full of giving cards, gifts, or taking your mom out for dinner. When I reflect on what I would do if my mom was with me today, I realize that there are important ways you can honor your mom, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Gestures of genuine connection and emotional support may be even more meaningful than tangible gifts.

Here are a few beautiful ways to honor your mom (and dad) not just on this special day but throughout their lives:

  1. Be Kind. It may require you to be silent or count to ten but honor your parent with kindness above all else.
  2. Reach out.  Especially as our parents age, they try not to be intrusive into our lives and don’t want to become a burden.  So, reach out them and let them know you’re thinking of them.
  3. Be understanding. As our parents age, it’s important that they feel like they are being understood.  Sometimes just listening and attempting to understand is enough.
  4. Forgiveness.  Seek forgiveness for what you may have done in the past that hurt your parents.  Also, forgive them for what they may have done that hurt you.  Forgiveness is good for you and can lead to a healthier relationship with your parents.
  5. Ask for their advice.  Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean your parents don’t have wisdom to share.   Parents have a lifetime of experiences, good and bad, that can help you as you navigate life. Asking their advice or opinion helps them feel valued and empowered.
  6. Respect their Legacy.  Preserve your parents’ memories in writing or with audio/visual recordings.  It’s a great way to show that their life experience is important and should be passed on to the next generation.  Be sure to let them know which stories, values, and characteristics have had an impact on your life.