Yesterday was Mother’s Day. In our town, the sun shone and the blossoms blossomed. Hopefully there were a lot of happy mothers.
My mother left the world 5 years ago. She was a good mom. I wish she was still around so I could treat her better.
Regret and Mother’s Day often go together, it seems. We were not good enough sons and daughters. We were not good enough parents. Shoulda woulda coulda. Maybe not all are like that; I sure hope not. But I’ve heard it more than once. I’ve heard it in my own house, in my own head.
On this Monday after Mother’s Day, I have already had three brief involvements with regret. Two humans regretted minor things they’d said or done to me, and I regretted one exchange with my spouse. The former I gladly forgave, the latter cost twenty bucks for flowers. She would have forgiven me with or without them.
I’m sure my mom had parental regret—she mentioned it betimes—and I know I’ve been there as a father. If only you could rewind and do things better….Regret is the opportunistic predator lurking in the shadows, waiting to devour the unwary. Mother’s Day is prime time for that.
To beat that demon, herewith some forgiveness with a dash of gratitude. For my mom if she’s listening: for whatever you did wrong, or think you did wrong, I forgive you. Which is ludicrous; you gave heart and soul to raising us kids. We were blessed with thoughtful, committed parents. I should be asking you for forgiveness. But regardless. I’m sure you screwed some things up—who wouldn’t with six kids—but whatever they were, let yourself off the hook. You did your best. Having tried parenting myself, I get how difficult it can be. I wish I had said that more, but anyway, you’re ok by me. Rest easy. Hopefully you’re in a place where that stuff can no longer touch you. I hope you forgave me before you left the planet.
For my kids, I’ve already asked forgiveness for my –and our—failings, so I won’t beat it to death. But hey, luck of the draw got you Jim and Gail for parents, so let’s all be happy for the good times and flush the bad, if possible. You have our phone numbers if you need help getting over it. As for the stuff you did to us, don’t ever do that again.
And for myself, what can I say? Don’t know. Think I’ll stick with the Lord’s prayer: “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…”
Then a dash of gratitude. We have lived our lives in one of the most favored epochs in one of the most favored parts of one of the most favored countries in the history of the world. We are rich, we are blessed, and our mothers, God bless ‘em, loved us as well as they were able with the flawed humanity conferred upon them by their parents. Gotta be thankful for that.
Yay Ruth. Thanks for everything. Hope you had a good day.