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M Is For the Many Things She Gave Me
by Marjorie Dorfman

Whether we have four legs and live in the wild or are entirely domesticated and walk corporately upright on two, all of us were brought into this world for better or worse, by our mothers. A rather dubious honor at times, this universality is at least half of the reason (and blame) for the perpetuation of the human, animal and "whatever" kingdoms. (This latter includes teenagers, who today seem to know no other word.)

The problem with continuity is that in some cases, it should never happen. Unfortunately, we can never know beforehand whether we as parents have bequeathed a gift to the human race or a demon. What I shall call non-Darwinian awards, survival of the non-fittest, should be given to mothers who have produced offspring the world would be better off without. Of course I am not talking about Christopher Columbus and his ilk, without whose mother God knows where I would call home. Still, the issue persists.

As Dean Martin used to say when he was on his proverbial couch and probably would have preferred to remain anonymous, "M" is for the Many things she gave me, "O" is for the Other things she gave me, "T" is for the other Things she gave me, "H" is for How many things she gave me, "E" is for the Everything she gave me and "R" is for the Rest of what she gave me. Although repetitive (to say the least), it still spells MOTHER, the beloved subject of a very special day.

All kidding aside, being a mother is without a doubt, the most important, difficult and thankless job in the world. Forming human beings with character and values is a formidable task. Coupled with the fact that most children, until they grow up at least, are barely grateful and sometimes not even cognizant of the tremendous sacrifices parents make for them. I know that as a kid I would have responded to this by saying something like, "I didn’t ask to be born, so…" But upper middle age has taught me that I was wrong. Certainly not about being asked to be born, but about a little thing called gratitude. We come into this world naked and broke and will probably leave the same way. Anything in between is either a gift or something we have earned for ourselves. What our mothers give us is life and unconditional love.

So call your mother and say hello on this special day of the year honoring all she has done for you. Call her even if it’s not a low phone rate day and whatever you do, don’t dare call collect. If your mother is deceased, then be nice to someone else’s mother. It’s absolutely painless and it might even make you feel a little better.

After all, where would any of us be without our mothers?

Happy Mother’s Day To All!

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