Tag Archives: sons

Happy Mother’s Day

13 May

I hope you have had a great day even if it was without celebration. This year more than others, I noticed how this day comes with expectations—for moms and their children, especially adult daughters. I heard women announcing plans to have their moms over for a meal. Some were very happy—for them today is just another excuse to spend time with their moms, something they try to do often. Others complained about having to prepare and cook, as a daughter, when today should be a day of relaxation, as a mother. While this holiday does not get as much press as Christmas, I have been bombarded with e-mail offers for weeks.  Ads for discounted flowers and pajamas overwhelmed radio stations and newspapers.

My own family is so busy studying for AP exams, writing essays, etc., that we could not plan a Mother’s Day family outing. And, since we do not have a grandmother to invite over for the obligatory meal, it was not necessary to call everyone together during the day. With time constraints in mind, I decided we should go out for dinner. Simple and stress-free.

As I condoned a Mother’s Day without much pomp and circumstance, I knew I would have my mom’s support. My mother encouraged us to do less. My mom did not have any need to make a big deal over a “Hallmark” holiday. After all of these years, I decided to investigate how this holiday started-  is Hallmark behind all of the hoopla?  I was surprised to learn that in 1870, Julia Ward Howe proclaimed the day a holiday to celebrate the men who fought in and survived the Civil War and to allow them to be at home with their moms. To follow Howe’s lead, another women’s activist, Anna Reeves continued the quest to make a special day to honor mothers and seek peace (http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/about-mothersday/history/).  My mom would have loved to know that Reeves tried to abolish the holiday when it became too commercial.

So, it seems like we cannot give credit to Hallmark and we should remember that the holiday started because a few women wanted to ensure that young men and women would have time to spend with their moms.

That brings me back to my original question, what celebrations are necessary? What should busy daughters do for their moms? Perhaps because I do not have a mom to shower with gifts and meals or because I wish I did, I take a very liberal stance on this holiday. I hope the celebrations we have are not out of obligation or guilt, but are mutually satisfying. What do you do to celebrate Mother’s Day- if you are fortunate enough to have your mom to celebrate with or if you are not….

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Another Celebrity Inspiration: Clive Davis’s tribute to his mom as he eulogizes Whitney Houston

20 Feb

I must first admit that I was glued to the television yesterday to watch Whitney Houston’s funeral. For the past 8 days, many people, famous and not, have praised her voice and her songs.  Ever since she entered the music world, when she and I were both 16, I have been entranced. I was more obsessed with following her funeral than with many other celebrities who have died. Perhaps it’s because we share our age and New Jersey that I am particularly intrigued by her. I thought it was really neat that we were pregnant around the same time and years later her daughter attended the same day camp as many children from my area. I love the story one friend told about Whitney following the camp bus to make sure her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, was okay.

While watching and listening to the songs and speeches during the funeral, I thought of Whitney’s daughter and mother. And, then, Clive Davis gave a speech filled with deep understanding. I was struck when this older, very famous, successful and powerful man spoke about his mom dying at the age of 47, when he was a teenager. He said, “I’ve felt my mother’s guidance and she’s helped me throughout my life.” He told the audience and emphasized to Whitney’s daughter that his mom is always with him even to “this very day.” In sharing his personal history, he comforted Bobbi Kristina in a warm and endearing way. This motherless son expressed exactly how I feel as a motherless daughter.

It is a tribute to incredible parents that they can continue to guide us after they have died. Instead of letting anger or defeat get in the way, Clive Davis, a destitute orphan, found his mother’s voice inside of him. Without parental support, he attended NYU and Harvard Law School on full scholarships. He spoke about being a father figure to Whitney and, after reading about him, it seems like he has taken that role with many artists.

During this eulogy, he spoke directly to Whitney’s daughter advising her to always be proud of her mother.. He told her to remember that “She’ll forever be looking after you and will never let go of your hand.”

I love that thought—that even after your mom has died, she will hold your hand. That, in essence, is what I feel and why I write this blog. I am grateful to have had an incredible mother who, I feel every day, is looking after me. I hope that you feel the same or can create that feeling with someone in your life.

 

Citations:

“Clive Davis Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – Biography.com.” Famous Biographies & TV Shows – Biography.com. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. http://www.biography.com/people/clive-davis-20740991.

“Whitney’s “raising the Roof” in Heaven, Clive Davis Says – Celebrity Circuit – CBS News.”Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. 18 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com.

 

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go….

4 Dec

Please forgive me for gloating in this post. I am teeming with glee as I celebrate the very first time that my children and I participated in the same 5K! We did not run side by side, but we crossed the same starting and finish lines as we added support to our town’s American Red Cross Walk/Run for Life. For more than 25 years, I have been an avid runner. Some people prefer to run on their own, but I have always loved having a running partner (s). I often run with my husband and friends. And, over the last 5 years, my daughter has been an occasional, but favorite running partner. We run together for fun and have done many charity races. Five years ago she struggled to finish a 4 mile run for lung cancer and today she came in 2nd in her age group.  On our runs, I often think, “It doesn’t get better than this….” And, today, it just got better.

While I have tried, unsuccessfully, to motivate my son to run in the past, he has just recently become self-motivated. His impetus for running is to be more fit for soccer. That is admirable, but I would have even been happy if his impetus was tv time after a long run. He joined the high school winter track team and is now having a great time running with friends and challenging himself. He used to dodge any attempt I made to get him to run—with me, on his own or in an organized race. So, when we asked him about doing this American Red Cross run and he quickly said, “YES,” I privately jumped with joy! I was so nervous about him backing out that I put off signing him up until 30 minutes before the race was set to begin.

I wish I could tell my mom about our day. I’d love to tell her how this reminds me of some of her favorite activities that she wanted my family to enjoy with her.  As an antiques dealer and aficionado, she wanted us to stop at just about every antiques store we encountered. During family road trips we sometimes gave great effort to diverting her attention from any antiques store we spotted.  It was almost comical—“Mom, can you help me with this crossword puzzle….would you check the map…do you like my hair this way….” I have often thought of how thrilled she must have been the first time I said yes to her invitation to join her at an antiques auction. My attendance was only partly to appease her and mostly to try it out. I was starting to plan for my own apartment and thought I might need some antiques. And, after buying a pretty set of dishes (her treat and favorites that I still use), I converted. I started to enjoy browsing in antiques stores –with her and even on my own.

 It was not easy to “wait” for both of my children to enjoy one of my favorite activities. And, I knew it might not happen, there was no guarantee that they would ever share my passion. Just like my mom, I nagged a bit and then held back. I pleaded a few times and then forced myself to ignore the topic completely. Just as my mom was, I’m sure, excited for our 2nd antiques auction outing, I am excited for the next opportunity to pursue this newly formed family tradition!