The Day After Mother's Day

posted by Dan O'Donnell -

The flowers are in a vase on the kitchen counter, displayed next to a beautiful card and a few handmade gifts from the kids.  The presents have all been unwrapped, the fancy brunches and fun breakfasts in bed are now happy memories, and today it’s back to work, back to school, back to life as usual.

It’s the day after Mother’s Day; the day to really show Mom how much she means.

The flowers are lovely, of course. The new earrings are beautiful.  The gifts the kids made will be treasured forever, just like all Mother’s Day memories.  But today, they are just that—memories. 

Today, Mom is back to getting up early to get everyone ready for school.  Today, Mom is back to running around frantically trying to balance her family and her job and her life that always seems long on joy, but short on time.

Today, Mom is back at the nursing home, smiling at yesterday’s happiness, but already dreading tomorrow’s loneliness.  She got the flowers and loved hearing from everyone, but today she is wondering when the next visit or the next phone call will come.  She knows everyone has their own lives and she doesn’t want to be a bother, but today, well, today she’s just missing Dad a little more than usual.

Today isn’t a day for flowers or cards or fancy gifts or breakfast in bed.  Today is just a normal Monday, full of the same stress every Monday is, but in a way, it’s every bit as special as yesterday.

Yesterday, we made sure to remember how much our wives, our moms, our grandmas, all of the special women in our lives mean to us, and we made sure to show them.  But today—on just a normal Monday—we can prove it.  

Flowers and cards and fancy gifts and breakfast in bed are nice, sure, but they come just once a year, reserved for a special Sunday.  On the ordinary Monday that follows, they sit on the kitchen counter—a wonderful reminder of unconditional love, but ultimately just decoration compared with what unconditional love should be.

Unconditional love is a surprise visit to Mom at the nursing home on an ordinary Monday. Unconditional love is volunteering to make (or, more likely, pick up) dinner on an ordinary Monday.  It’s all the little “I love yous” that mean just as much as the grand gestures on a special Sunday.

On that Sunday, we show our love.  On Mondays like this one, we live it; not with displays ready-made for a Facebook status update, but with tiny gestures ready-made to help Mom get through her stressful day.

And today is the day to start.  If yesterday was a day to celebrate Mom, then today—and every day after—is a day to really honor her; not with a present, but with a run to the grocery store, not with a bouquet, but with a phone call.

It’s the day after Mother’s Day—just an ordinary Monday—but it’s on ordinary days like today, not special days like yesterday, that true love truly reveals itself.       

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