Best Health - - EDITOR’S LETTER -

JUST THE NO­TION OF THE DAY PUTS a lump in my throat for sev­eral rea­sons.

One, I’ve been a mother for a few decades now and, be­lieve me, I never tire of its sig­nif­i­cance.

Some peo­ple claim that it’s a fab­ri­cated hol­i­day, boosted by the likes of card com­pa­nies and bon­bon bou­tiques to make more money. To that, I say phooey. Also, who cares?

Mother’s Day is spe­cial. I love how my sons make an ef­fort to re­mem­ber me in thought­ful ways. It’s a re­minder of what lovely young men they’ve grown into and, for that, I am very thank­ful. It’s also a time when we set aside the chal­lenges of daily life to come to­gether and cel­e­brate the good stuff: fam­ily and food, health and hope.

Two, for those of us who have lost our moms, the day is a poignant re­minder of what will never be. Tough, for sure. My mom died be­fore we could cel­e­brate Mother’s Day as two moms, and I la­ment that still. Now that I’m armed with the first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of how chal­leng­ing this “job” can be, I wish with my whole heart that I could em­brace Mom just once more and thank her for her tire­less acts of love and courage.

Of course, she prob­a­bly al­ready knew how thank­ful I was be­cause moms just know stuff. That’s what I love about our piece “Moth­ers Know Best,” on page 40, which ex­plores the valu­able lessons our moth­ers im­part to us in our for­ma­tive years. In this ar­ti­cle, we ask how moms in­flu­enced daugh­ters’ well-be­ing by com­plet­ing this line: “I grew up to...”

If I were an­swer­ing the ques­tion, I would say “I grew up to…try harder.” My mother had a chal­leng­ing youth. But she was an ex­tro­vert and, as such, re­sponded to ev­ery test by de­fy­ing con­ven­tion and plow­ing on. Hav­ing an in­tro­verted kid (um, that would be me) must have been frus­trat­ing at times. Had she lived long enough, though, she would have seen that some of her spunk rubbed off on me. Sure, I’m still quiet, but I know the bat­tles worth fight­ing and en­ter in, sword drawn.

Three, this day makes me emo­tional be­cause I see the prej­u­dice en­coun­tered by women who have cho­sen not to par­ent. I de­spise how oth­ers make women feel small or in­signif­i­cant for not pro­cre­at­ing. Sup­port, not judg­ment, is what we should be shar­ing.

A healthy world be­gins with healthy at­ti­tudes. As women, moth­ers or not, we have a key role to play in fos­ter­ing health and well­ness so that ev­ery­one can grow up to do what­ever makes them happy.


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