Hope today was wonderful for mothers everywhere, and for anyone who is like a mother to someone. We all want to buy presents for our moms and cook them dinner or take them out to eat to celebrate all they are to us, but have you honored your mother yet by embracing her whole being, not just her mom self? Once upon a time she was a child, a teen, a young married woman. She has thoughts and dreams apart from mom thoughts and dreams. What made her the person she is, and that helped make you the person you are, and will influence who your children will be?
My mother was a storyteller, but only about her childhood. I enjoyed listening to stories of hunting tadpoles in the rice paddies, of the games she played, about the time she got lost, and how she was a daddy’s girl. Only much later as an adult, when I wanted to write these stories down, did I ask about her teen years and then uncovered the big stories of surviving WWII in Japan and then losing her beloved father, of the difficulties she had with her mother and brother, of the cultural expectations especially for Japanese women. All of these experiences made her the person I had trouble understanding and dealing with. If only I had known about those stories earlier, it might have saved a lot of frustration, or at least made me more patient and understanding.
I hope you will take the time sooner than later to ask your mother (and father) about their early lives. This is a truly meaningful way to honor them, by taking the time and caring to hear about their experiences and thoughts. Now that my mother is gone from this earth, her stories captured in the Cherry Blossoms memoir are worth more than gold to me.