When I was a child, Mother's Day was a very big deal. We used to go to church wearing artificial carnations that were pinned on our clothing in honour. Red or pink ones meant that our mother was alive whereas white ones indicated that our mom had died.
Besides giving homemade gifts, carefully coloured pictures or cards that were created in our school art class, we would have a special meal. Sometimes it would be in a restaurant. At other times we would gather at an aunt's house. No matter where we were it was a special time to be with our maternal grandmother. She would be dressed up with hat, gloves and jewellery to accept our hugs and words of love with big smiles.
A few years ago I was in church for a Mother's Day service and was able to get a completely different perspective. The pastor brought his wife on stage and talked about the virtuous woman from Proverbs 31 in the Bible. I looked around the church and thought about each of the women who was listening.
One of them had lost a child to death. Another didn't have children. Several others were alone because their children lived in other cities. I knew the story of one couple who had experienced conflict with their child and they hadn't spoken with each other for a long time.
It was particularly hard to think about the single woman whose mother had died. She wasn't a mother and didn't have one to honour.
Well, Mother's Day is coming up and many people will find themselves in situations that are difficult. Perhaps it is the first year without their mother - or child. Maybe they were adopted and even though they love their adoptive mother, they wish that they could find their birth mother. Some will be sad because they have struggled for years with infertility or miscarriages.
There are individuals who feel that parenthood passed them by because they didn't meet the right person to have as a partner and didn't want to be a single parent.
And then there is the group of individuals who never wanted to be parents.
I don't want to be negative but do want to raise awareness of some of the situations that people face during what we might expect to be a happy holiday.
So, what can you do on Mother's Day? First of all, if you have a mother, honour her. Perhaps it will be with a dinner out, a beautiful card or a warm telephone call. If you do not have a mother, find someone who you can honour. She doesn't have to be your mother. It can be someone who you respect or admire. Perhaps this person has been a mentor to you or just a kind soul who might not have as good a day without your kindness.
You see, holidays are what we make them. Make this a good one.
Happy Mother's Day!