Well, another Mother's Day is almost here, and to those of you who still have a mother to lavish your love upon, be thankful. Many of us have lost our mothers and can only reflect on all the things she did for us, many of which we never thanked her for.

I've known a couple of people that always send their mother a "thank you" card when it's their own birthday. Instead of waiting to get a card from her, they send their mom a card thanking her for giving birth to them. I bet those mothers are very touched by that sweet and thoughtful gesture. I never thought of that wonderful idea.

There are so many things my mother did for me. I never thought to thank her properly for the time and effort she put into making or doing something for me. It seems that when many of us were younger, we just expected our mothers to be there and to do whatever it took to get us the things we wanted. We didn't give it a second thought, for in our minds, it was her job to keep us happy. After all, isn't that what mothers are for?

Strange, but when we finally grow up and she's no longer here, we fully realize how much she did. I know that's so true in my case, and it hurts to know that I can no longer tell her how wonderful she was to me.


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Many of you have written to advise me that your children don't appreciate all the things you do or did. My heart goes out to you, for I can feel your disappointment in them. Perhaps you should send those children a copy of this column. It may help enlighten them and perhaps bring you more thanks while you can still enjoy them.

Young children never really think about their parents as people with their own lives to lead. Parents are just there to take care of them and provide for their needs. Teenagers are a bit more aware of things, but many don't think to thank their mothers for all they get. Once children leave the nest, a lot of them are still asking for things and expecting their wishes to be fulfilled. It's sort of like -- once you're a parent, you're always a parent.

I can look back now and remember all the little and big things my mother did for me throughout my life with her. Mother was the one we went to when we had a mishap, as she would kiss it and make it all better. If it needed medical attention, she would clean the wound, apply medicine and then bandage it. Mothers were the ones that warned us not to cross our eyes or they would stay that way. They also advised us to clean our meal plates for there were starving children in Europe.

Even the big burly football players cheerfully wave to the TV camera and say, "Hi Mom!" Moms have a special place in our hearts that no one else can fill. We can travel the world and meet thousands of people, but there's always only one mom for us.

Please tell her how grateful you are to have her while she can still hear you. Lavish her with the love that only you can show her. Give her a Happy Mother's Day more than just once a year and you'll never have to look back and say, "If only."

A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at carolleeolson@aol.com.