It’s 8 a.m. Mother’s Day morning and the doorbell rings.
Could it be? He didn’t forget, after all?
I check out my appearance in the mirror: make-up free face, frizzy hair, leggings and sweatshirt adorn my body. That poor delivery person.
Nonetheless, I open the front door with bright eyes that grow wider as I see what’s standing in front of me. A young blond-haired man holding a tall glass vase filled with at least a dozen delicate long-stemmed pink roses.
I sigh with relief and relieve the man of his burden. “Thank you so much,” I gush, as if the gift is from him. But he smiles, pleased, as I withhold the question I want to ask: Who sent them?
I’m close to certain that the roses are from my son, who lives thousands of miles away from me literally and at times, figuratively.
Two years ago on Mother’s Day, I never received a card or a gift or any acknowledgement of the day. We’re close, my son and I, but his life is always filled up with wife and three young sons and a “job in finance” and biking and …., well, a LIFE. But. Still. He called me late that night with loving words and apologies and claimed, “your card is right here on my dresser – I forgot to mail it!”
Of course I told him it didn’t matter.
Of course it did. I waited for two weeks for that card. Then I let it go.
Six weeks later, I flew to California and met my darling boy for lunch in the city. We dined on the patio of a waterfront restaurant, staring out at the S.F. Bay and the sailboats, munching on salad and our thoughts. Halfway through the meal, my son exclaimed, “Oh, I almost forgot!” And he handed me his Mother’s Day card.
I wanted to fling it back in his face and say, “Forget it – too late.”
But I didn’t.
I close the front door behind me now, anxious to read the card attached to the vase, which I place gently on the dining room table. I inhale.
The roses don’t matter. They really don’t. I don’t need a gift or a card. I just want the thought – the thought that a mother still matters in a grown man’s heart.
I pick up the card and start to laugh. “To Judy – Happy Mother’s Day. Love, David.”
David and Judy live next door to us.
I pull on my yellow slicker and rain boots and trudge over, knocking gently on their door, enjoying the surprised pleased expression on Judy’s face. “Someone loves you very much,” I tell her with sincere joy.
When I return home and sip on my hot cup of tea, I decide that I’ve just received a lesson. I know my son loves me. He knows I love him. We don’t need cards or roses or …
The phone rings.
“Mom? Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!”
I laugh out loud.