Growing up in Canada, Mother's Days in my life have always been the second Sunday in May. In Mexico, where we have been living lately, Día de la Madre is May 10, every year, no matter what the day of the week. So this year, in our home away from home, Sunday was Mother's Day, and today, living like the locals, it's Another Mother's Day. Lucky me. Dos para uno. Stores on our avenida are brimming with bouquets of flowers, restaurants will be packed as families gather for lunch, and mariachis have been serenading las madres since midnight.
What does Mother's Day have to do with colour? Nothing really. At least not directly. But when I think of my mother, I think of colourful things: her clothes, always bright and bold, no matter what the fashion; stacks of fabric sorted and ready for quilting; bags of balls of yarn for knitting and crocheting; skeins of wool, hand spun and dyed with onion skins, cabbage leaves, blackberries, and lichen; tie-dyed T-shirts; embroidered blue jeans; costumes sewn for Hallowe'en or school plays or for my Barbies; Easter eggs, Christmas cookies, birthday cakes, freezer jam, pickles, antipasto, and other edible colour that came from her kitchen all year.
Late last August, my world got a little less colourful when my mom quietly left this world, slipping away in her sleep as dawn was breaking. I was at her bedside, and during those final days and nights before she passed, I had been with her, to care, comfort, and 'mother' her through her time of transition. As mother of me and three other daughters, and matriarch to a broader brood of nineteen more (our kids, and theirs), in the days and weeks that followed her death, I was in awe of her legacy, in some ways deeper than I had been while she was alive, and maybe should have been more so. This was most evident as many of my friends remembered my mom, my mom, saying she'd been like a mother to them: generous, thoughtful, supportive, kind, caring.
Today, my son and his classmates did their collective part to turn an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon into The Most Important Day of the Year with a fiesta sorpresa for me and the other mothers. But this past Sunday was the first Second Sunday in May that wouldn't be Another Mother's Day for me as a daughter. More phone calls are made on Mother's Day than any other day of the year. I can recall years when I wasn't 'home,' it was sometimes hard to get through due to overworked long distance phone networks. But this year, even with email, Skype, FaceTime, or the other 21st century ways we have to (apparently) stay connected, I can't. Not this year. Or the next, or the next...
If your mom is still around, no matter where she is in this big/small world, don't wait for Mother's Day. Call her any day. Call her today, even if you just called two days ago. And if you're lucky enough to have others in your life that have been like a mother to you at some point, call them too. Big sister, aunt, grandmother, godmother, babysitter, teacher, camp counsellor, coach, mentor... Call them too. Not to diminish this day beyond its sacred (and Sacred) origins, the role of 'mother' can, does, and should encompass anyone who has nurtured us along the way, even fathers, even our kids. Maybe the Third Sunday in May could be An 'Other Mothers' Day.
Second Sunday in May, May 10, and always... Happy Mother's Day, mom, wherever you are.