A few days ago I went to a farm store for carrots and there were so many tulip bouquets at the checkout a rustic interior now seemed bohemian. What is the appropriate response to a cashier who ends your transaction with the words, “Happy Mother’s Day!”?

I am a mother and I have a mother, but what about her?

The day celebrates women, varied and wonderful, so perhaps I could extend the greeting back to her, “Happy Mother’s Day to you, too.” In fact, that’s what I did… but I worried about it.

Do straightforward holidays exist? Isn’t there often a mingling of bittersweet and joy? We all know women who should have been mothers, but never had the chance. Women who miss their moms. People scarred by their mothers. Some of us think more about loss on the second Sunday of May than about celebration.

My sweet girl is twenty and my mom is over eighty, still the kind of woman who keeps me anchored to faith, who values the immaterial over things, who makes me feel loved. I hope I can pass on that legacy and offer that kind of love and that kind of faith to my own child.

This weekend we have the chance to celebrate women we love – women who have inspired or nurtured or protected or corrected us. I encourage you to reach out to a few women who might be surprised to hear from you. If we all do this, we can spread a lot of warmth.

If you are a woman who has loved others well, you have the qualities the world celebrates this weekend. We don’t just need mothers like you – the world needs women like you. We’re so blessed that you are here.

Thank you.

We love you.





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