To all the mothers and daughters all over the world, I bid you joy and love.
Until I was twenty-seven years old I took Mother's day for granted. I took having a mother for granted. We did, as most most families do on this special day. We gave our mother breakfast in bed, dinners out at her favorite restaurant or had cook-outs in the back yard or down in the orchard. We showered our mother with gifts and we always made her a cake--from scratch.
Mother's Day celebrations for us were intermingled with trips to the hospital, beeping monitors and days when Mom couldn't get out of bed. I was used to these episodes of illness from the time I was five. I never imagined that Mom would go to the hospital one day and never come home again.
That was way back in November 1974. A lot of years have passed since then. But no matter how happy I am on most days of the year, Mother's Day is when I miss my mother the most. It's the one day that makes my heart ache and it doesn't seem to lessen after all these years. So I accept that this one day is probably going to always be the saddest day of the year for me. It's when a mother's unconditional love passed from my life.
So for this one day, I will remember Charlene Hilda McNeal and hold her close to my heart. She meant the world to me.
I love you Mom.