2010–2023 Writings
by Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Read the full post on Elephant Journal.

Sweet Messages for your Mama

Instead of sending a generic store-bought card, create a homemade card, or send her a heartfelt email. Include something sentimental, like these cute pictures of animal moms with their young, a favorite poem or one of these lovely wisdom quotes on motherhood:

“There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” ~ Jill Churchill

“A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.” ~ Unknown

“When you are looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” ~ Charley Benetto

“There is no role in life that is more essential than that of motherhood.” ~ Elder M. Russell Ballard

“We are born of love; love is our mother.” ~ Rumi

“Mother: the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.” ~ Kahil Gibran

“A mother is the one who fills your heart in the first place.” ~ Amy Tan

“A mother’s love is more beautiful than any fresh flower.” ~ Debasish Mridha

However you celebrate it, Mother’s Day is a time for love, family, friendship, and enjoyment. Due to the pandemic, this year it’s even more important to reach out to your mother and other cherished maternal figures in your life with a thoughtful note or meaningful phone call. If your mother has passed away, devote some time to remembering her fondly and honoring her legacy.

And, for those who do not celebrate Mother’s Day in the traditional sense, here’s an apt quote from Rebecca Solnit:

Mother is both a noun and a verb.

Some people had great mothers but lost them, some had or have mothers who never mothered them or stopped mothering them for some reason, treated them as adversaries or as worthless, and Mother’s Day can be a punitive day for all those for whom this is true.

The other half of the question of what there is to celebrate is what mothered and mothers you, how you mother yourself, how you celebrate and recognize what cares for you and takes care of you, and what you care for in return.

I remember once looking at the Pacific Ocean, to which I often reverted in trouble, and thinking “Everything was my mother but my mother.”

Books were my mother, coastlines, running water and landscapes, trees and the flight of birds, zazen and zendos, quiet and cellos, reading and writing, bookstores and familiar views and routines, the changing evening sky, cooking and baking, walking and discovering, rhythms and blues, friends and interior spaces and all forms of kindness, of which there has been more and more as time goes by.

And of my own mother I wrote, in The Faraway Nearby: Like lawyers, writers seek consistency; they make a case for their point of view; they do so by leaving out some evidence; but let me mention the hundreds of sandwiches my mother made during my elementary school years, the peanut butter sandwiches I ate alone on school benches in the open, throwing the crusts into the air where the seagulls would swoop to catch them before they hit the ground.

When my friends began to have babies and I came to comprehend the heroic labor it takes to keep one alive, the constant exhausting tending of a being who can do nothing and demands everything, I realized that my mother had done all these things for me before I remembered. I was fed; I was washed; I was clothed; I was taught to speak and given a thousand other things, over and over again, hourly, daily, for years.

She gave me everything before she gave me nothing.

May you locate the ten thousand mothers that brought you into being and keep you going, no matter who and where you are.

May you be the mother of uncounted possibilities and loves.” ~Rebecca Solnit

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