What Memories Do You Share? 


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Some of us have happy memories, while others never know the love of their mother.  I was one of the lucky ones. Life began with happiness and continued with a loving wife and mother for our son. You could say my mum was like Mary Poppins! Singing and carrying on make-believe …maybe not with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but  plenty of songs to make me feel so loved and exceptional. I had my mum at home with me, but she worked plenty hard on our farm giving me everything a lad could want. Those yummy gooseberry pies, scones with fresh milk and eggs collected in the early morning for my breakfast, and all the while she gave me plenty of love and attention.

Yes, there are children whose mothers could not stay at home but it seemed to me they were happy anyway. Celebrations for mums and moms around the world are well deserved. 

Is or was your mom a Mary Poppins or was she a stay-at-home mom? What I mean is, did you have someone that comes to take care of you acting as a second mom, but maybe you felt slighted? Perhaps a housekeeper and babysitter causing you to be a little jealous about other friends whose moms are always home? These exceptional type caregivers were likely hand selected by your mom who had to work but loves you just the same. You should remember that you are fortunate too.

Now, is it any wonder why Mother’s Day (Mothering Day in the UK) should be celebrated? While this is a comic illustration, showing mothers to have different jobs, she is responsible for doing everything daily. Most I know, smile and say they would never give up the joyfulness her children bless her with each and every day. The most challenging story I know was of a mother who had school-age children, but in every school level along with a baby at home. Her day began at 6 AM every day to get her husband off to work, fix breakfast and pack lunches for 4 children, feed the baby and get the youngest dressed for school before driving a carpool shuffling off to the three different schools and pre-school too! After careful researching, I discovered that same story from other moms existed in so many homes. So again, is it any wonder countries  find ways to honor the mothers of the world who provide the very population in which we live? 

No matter how you see your mom, be it a fairy princess, or one slaving over a hot stove or doing laundry, the loving mothers have your well-being as her primary focus.

International Mother’s Day, dates in different countries around the world where a particular day is set aside to celebrate the act of motherhood, but not all cultures celebrate at the same time. The second Sunday in May is the American date, and it became a legal holiday like this: For whatever reason, possibly a wish to disassociate themselves from British traditions, the pilgrim fathers who first traveled to America didn’t seem to take Mothering Sunday with them. Centuries later, in 1908, Mrs. Anna Jarvis set up Mother’s Day as the Americans know it today, for the second Sunday in May. In 1914 she was successful, and since then this has been the date of Mother’s Day in America – and beyond.

Are you curious about how mothers are celebrated around the world? I was, and so I decided to do a little research. You will be so surprised at what I learned. So, shall we take a look?

Let’s begin in my own homeland of the United Kingdom.

My own shared memory still makes me chuckle today:

Growing up, we lived on a farm where we worked to be semi-self-sufficient regarding our individual needs for food. As a result, we did not eat out very often. In fact, my mother preferred her own cooking! However, on Mothering Sunday, I used to surprise her with a handmade card, and a fistful of flowers I had picked fresh just for her. Oh, how she smiled which made me so happy that she was my mum.

When I left home to undertake my Civil Engineering career, I was not able to visit her very often, but Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day) always began with a long telephone call to tell her how much I loved her.

In the late ’70s, we were much closer to each other when she and my father moved to Poole, as I had moved to Salisbury with my wife, Irene and my very young son, Simon. Nothing could have been so extraordinary than to have our family so close to one another. My wife, son and I had moved to Poole so when my father passed away in 1984, we were able to look after my mum. We as a family were able to take mum out for a nice meal on Mothering Sunday, due to living in the same city.

However, on this one particular occasion, things didn’t go quite according to plan! For some strange reason, known only to herself, my mum took a dislike to this charming restaurant, and much to our embarrassment, she expressed her desire to leave! She simply said she did not want to be there, so she got up and left! I vowed to never take her out for a meal again, but of course, I did not mean it, and wish she were still here with me, to embarrass me all over again! Mum, I love you.

The United Kingdom celebrates Mothering Sunday, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, during the lead-up to Easter, which dates back to the Middle Ages. The holiday today still remains with its connection to religion, and many churches hand out daffodils for the children to give to their Mom. As a tradition, the girls bake a fruitcake for their mothers.

Breakfast in bed, to include a bouquet of flowers, handcrafted cards as well as gifts of appreciation is how many homes in the USA celebrate Mothers Day, on the second Sunday in May.

Dia de Las Madres tradition south of the border, in Mexico, is a celebration by singing to the mothers. It begins with a band…a strum…and a toot, and always celebrated on May 10th. It is the most essential holiday south of the border for ­restaurants, and for the mariachi bands.

What’s the same as Mothers Day in Nepal, Mata Tirtha Aunsi, Nepali whose mothers have passed away gather in a sacred celebration to honor their memories. Huge crowds flock to a large village in Kathmandu each year to wade into the famous Matatritha pond—this rite is said to bring peace to the atman—soul or essence—of their departed Hindu mothers.

In the 1980s, Israel changed the country’s Mother’s Day to Family Day. Why? To honor “the variety of configurations of the nuclear family. All combinations are welcomed with love: children with two mothers, or two fathers, or single-parent families—all are part of the celebration.

Peruvian celebrations include cards, gifts, and flowers, but those celebrating in Peru honor the mothers no longer amongst them by gathering at cemeteries, laying fresh flowers at mother’s graves, while celebrating with food and drink in their honor.

The enormous casualties in France, from World War I, brought about more than 4% loss of the population, leaving the country desperate to build its citizens. The government celebrated Mother’s Day in 1920 by presenting women who had five children with a bronze medal. Mothers of eight got silver, and those with ten­—or more!—got the gold.

I want to share with you one more of my own experiences while I do hope your life is a fraction as good as mine.

Tribute to Irene

Every year on this special Mothering Sunday, both Simon and I did our best to show Irene how much she was appreciated. You only have one mother, so do your best to  show her how much you love her.

My wife was a gifted and talented artist, so on Mothering Sunday, we would start out the day by giving her a gift of art supplies or an art book. We also had made  handwritten card expressing our devotion and love accompanied by a lovely bouquet  of flowers.

Later in the day, we would take her to a local area surrounding her beauty where she  could paint, creating a masterpiece of love. We would finish our special Mothering Sunday, with an excellent meal at the country inn. In essence, we did our best to show our appreciation of her being the best mother and wife in the world


Chris Ambrose

Author, Husband and Father

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