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Today is what many Americans call, somewhat cynically, a “Hallmark holiday.” In addition to cards – often purchased from Hallmark – we spend a great deal of money on flowers and other purchases to tell our mothers that we love them. Sometimes those material things are a substitute for the words “I love you,” words that would be enough for most mothers.

I know that for many people this is a difficult day because mother-daughter or mother-son relationships can be difficult or even tragic and I pray for the healing of those relationships as there are no closer ties than those between mother and child. The time of nourishing a child from within one’s own body cannot be measured or replicated but the longing and waiting of a prospective adoptive mother certainly qualifies as a different kind of pregnancy.

My siblings and I were some of the “lucky ones,” having hit the jackpot in the “good mother” department. A bright, loving partner for our father, our mother, Mary Frances, aka “May,” was born on the first day of this beautiful month and flowered in different ways throughout her 87 years of life. Even in the throes of her last years with Alzheimer’s disease, she never lost the ability to convince us of the truth of her love. All we needed was her smile and the look in her eyes.

Today I pray for all mothers and their children. For those who share a great love and for those who wish they did, I ask a blessing of gratitude and peace. For those who never knew their mothers or those abandoned, I pray for solace. For each of us, I pray a prayer of openness and pure love, that we will love as unselfishly and kindly as the Divine Lover of the universe loves each of us and all of us.

Happy Mother’s Day!