Sunday, May 09, 2004

Happy Mother's day


oday is the second Sunday of May, Mother's day. Hmmm, I don't think that there are very many mothers who visit my site, but I'm pretty sure most of you have mothers. Be sure to wish them a Happy Mother's Day, give them a big hug and a kiss, let them know how much she means to you.

At school as a kid, we often spent the Friday afternoon before Mother's Day making cards and drawing pictures to give to Mom. As I grew older, I tried to give something more, usually flowers, sometimes lunch or dinner. But these are things I would do during the course of the year anyway, so I have no real memory of a specific Mother's Day "event." I also remember wanting to give her something more substantial. But present selection was limited. My mother was the type who did not want appliances as gifts. A toaster for Mother's Day? Forget it. A vacuum cleaner? The kiss of death. What kind of message does that send? You're just telling me to work more, she once said. As I reflect back, I can't remember a single Mother's Day present I gave her except one. The first one. When I was seventeen, I was working part-time so I had a little spending money. I wanted to give her something nice. Something that would last. Something by which she would remember me. I went to the local jewelry store in J-town and bought my mother a chain with a gold pendant on it. The pendant was the Chinese character for mother: .

She seemed relatively pleased with it, and she began to wore it quite frequently, even to work. She would get some teasing, people pointing at it and saying; hahahaha... which was suppposed to be a pun of sorts, because the Chinese character is read "haha" in Japanese. Over the years, however, she wore it less and less until even I had forgotten it's existence... until two years ago. As we kids were going through our mother's things after the funeral, I recalled the pendant, but could not find it. I wonder where it went...

I suppose it shouldn't matter. Indeed, to be concerned with such a trinket--let alone the flawed concept of giving her something "by which she would remember me"--suggests the self-satisfaction of giving a gift, rather than being concerned with the happiness of the recipient. What is important to me today are my memories. Which is why I am sad that I can only remember this single present I gave her rather than anything specific I did for her on Mother's Day.

Presents are nice, but be sure to show your appreciation by doing something with your mother. "Spending quality time" sounds rather corny, but in the end those memories are the most important.

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