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Harris Blackwood: Make time for your mama, who surely made time for you
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

I always wanted to buy my mama a lavish present, like a trip to some exotic location or an article of clothing she would never buy for herself.

I never got to do that and I don’t know if that was really what she wanted.

My mother always talked about how she just wanted to have her children around her from time to time. I was 36 when she died and I didn’t understand that. Nearly 22 years later, I now fully understand. Quite frankly, I’d love to have her around if only for a few minutes.

Good mothers are really special. When I married my wife, her youngest was 16. The days of hauling kids to ballgames, school and church events was drawing to an end. Now, 15 years later, the former 16-year-old is about to give birth to our first grandchild. It’s pretty exciting.

My wife was a single mom for many years. She worked extra to make sure her kids could play sports and do the extracurricular things they wanted to do. It wasn’t easy. I admire her for that.

Most people have that nurturing individual who is there when they suffer a scraped knee or a broken heart. Many times that is a mother.

This is the day we honor mothers. 

In 1908, Congress nixed the idea of a day to celebrate mothers. But because of the work of a woman named Anna Jarvis, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation that the second Sunday in May would be observed as “Mother’s Day.”

Here is a piece of Mother’s Day trivia you won’t read just anywhere: Wilson’s wife, Ellen, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Margaret, at her aunt’s house on South Bradford Street in Gainesville on April 16, 1886. When her mother died during her father’s presidency in 1914, Margaret assumed the duties of first lady until her father remarried in late 1915.

Your mother may not have been first lady, but I hope she has or had a first place in your heart. My mother always wanted a better life for her boys. She was born just three years before the Great Depression and lived with her parents and three siblings in a sharecropper’s shack.

She wanted me to read well, see the sites of our state and country’s history and find success in the path of life. We traveled the roads of Georgia to see presidents, performers and places of interest. I saw the Atlanta Symphony and Liberace (not at the same time).

We didn’t make a lot of snapshots, but I have the images of so many places and things etched in my mind.

If your mother did nothing else for you, she carried you for nine months and gave you life. That alone is enough to pay her some degree of homage.

Unless you have some overriding reason to be estranged from your living mother on Mother’s Day, you need to reach out to her. I hope that happens in person. Go to church, take her to lunch or just do whatever makes her happy. She probably just would like to have you around for a little while.

If you miss being with your mama because of your self-proclaimed busy schedule, shame on you. One day, you’ll be spending money on therapy trying to figure out why you miss your mama so much.

I know why I miss mine every Mother’s Day and the 364 others between them.

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