Mom's Day Out
Off the Wall, May 11
, 2012

When I lay in bed one morning thinking just how I may write this story, I began to envision what we as kids (my sister, Betsy and brother, Bob) did to celebrate Mother’s Day. I think the one thing we did for sure was highlight the day by treating her to fine food at a nearby restaurant and making her feel special.

After all, isn’t that what the day is all about?

Of course, I can’t help but feel this is one of those days cut out to support the card industry and florists throughout the country. Can you imagine how much money both are profiting on this one-day-of-the-year-treat-Mom-to-a-good-time Sunday?

When we were growing up, the family did not live near shopping malls, general stores or even any retail outlets other than a Gulf Gas Station a good mile from the house while living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. I don’t think I ever bought anything there, but I did stop by occasionally while out on a spin on my two wheeler. I guess it never occurred to me to save my little income I had to buy Mom a candy bar or something from the filling station.

Isn’t it interesting, we used to call these places gas or filling stations? Now, we use the business names and everyone knows what we mean. Anyway, back to Mom.

My apologies to my brother and sister, but I definitely can’t remember what they contributed to the day. I’m only speaking for myself. I may have gone to the field next to our house and picked some weeds (which are flowers out of place) and put them in a bouquet and given them to her. That would have been appropriate and appreciated, I’m sure.

Besides, what comes to mind is that whatever Mom asked us to do on that day was automatic, and we did as told. All that ran through my mind was, “It’s only for today…” type attitude, which, of course, wasn’t true at all. Somehow, Mom had her ways, and we catered to them with a smile, I may add.

Now that Mom has passed, I can only look back and think of her many contributions to my life. I remember one time, I was very shy (can you believe that one!) and would not go near the phone “No How,” “No Way.” As a kid, I can’t tell you what I was afraid of, or what there was about that mechanism that scared the daylights out of me, but you wouldn’t catch me talking on the phone.

So, one day Mom insisted that I get on the phone and call the bus terminal to ascertain when the next bus was leaving for a particular destination. She almost had to push me to the corner table where the phone was. Even though my muscles were wrapped up in knots, I extended my left arm forward, picked up the receiver and proceeded to dial. When I heard the voice on the other end, I spit out my works as though I was choking on an apple cord. I received my answer, thanked the person and quickly hung up. I did it. 65 years later, I now feel as though I could be a telemarketer.

Being neat was always big on the list of priorities. If I didn’t have my shirt tucked in, I wasn’t decent. We always had to look our Sunday best when going to church. And when eating, a certain etiquette had to be followed. It’s been nine years since she died.

And even though I will never forget my biological mother, I daily relate to my spiritual mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a convert it took me a while. But like anything else, if it was supposed to be it would happen. One evening, I couldn’t sleep and I asked the Blessed Mother of Jesus to help. And I was out like a light.

One hears so much about intercessory prayer, but so many Christians, for some reason, “don’t want to go there.”

Knowing that Mary exists is one thing. Believing that she cares is another. But combining the two with the faith factor as a link with the knowledge of certainty that she will deliver through Jesus Christ, her Son, should give us all assurance that our prayers will be answered the way God wants to respond for the goodness of us all.

Consider this on Mother’s Day. Be thankful to our mothers and grandmothers, for if they didn’t agree to going ahead with procreation, you just may not be here. But most of all, thank the Blessed Mother, for without her saying yes, we may not have had Jesus.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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