I never really used to appreciate Mother's Day. In fact, some years it has been a bit of a hassle - yet another day on which to find an appropriate greeting card, work out whether the gift should be chocolate, flowers, both, or something more personal.
Added to this, I have a step-mother too. Double the cards, double the visits, double the gifts, double the stress.
Not that either of my mothers were ever ungrateful or expectant. For several years my step-mother reacted in surprise when I gave her a card and a nicely chosen plant, or chocolates - but this was confusing in itself, spending time to 'find the right thing', worrying that I wouldn't get it right, only to be told 'No, really, you shouldn't have' (which for a long while I incorrectly received as 'You are no child of mine.').
And my Mum always insisted that all she liked was a nicely chosen card and didn't care about anything else.
But it is only now that I am 'of an age' that I can truly appreciate why Mother's Day is so important, watching my friends and family with kids and understanding exactly how much dedication, commitment, selflessness, love and anxiety it takes to raise a child. The least that Mums deserve is a card. And not just any old card, but one with a carefully chosen message (which in this day and age, is so easy to do). This should be the barest minimum. And if you can't afford a gift, then a phonecall or a visit has to be part of the day.
Long gone are the days when I used to shout "I never asked to be born!!" at my mother, because now I understand that, actually, I did ask to be born. Not only that, but I chose Mum to be my mother, to teach me the lessons that I needed to learn. It puts a whole new spin on Gratitude for Mother's Day.
Another reason for gratitude is the fact that I still have (both) my Mum(s) in my life, when a number of my friends no longer have a mother to send cards to. And some children have no mothers at all.
And on that note, I read the news this morning that Jade Goody passed away early this morning, leaving behind her two boys, Bobby and Freddy. Jade's mother, Jackiey, was at her bedside when she died - not the way you would wish to spend Mother's Day. God Bless.