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God Could Not be Everywhere, So He Created Mothers

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“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.” ~James Joyce

I think about all that could be said about Mother’s Day, in a general sense, has likely been said. People have dismissed it as a “Hallmark Holiday” and accused it of cynically plucking the heartstrings (and pocketbooks) of obligated children everywhere, but still it endures. This is not likely because the Mother’s Day consumer apparatus is so architecturally sound that it cannot be upended by a bit of cynicism. No, it is likely because Mother’s Day, for all of its obligatory phone calls, overpriced brunches, and wilting bouquets sent by FTD, has a personal and intimate component that cannot be diluted by such triviality.

I say this knowing full well that many of you may not have the most endearing, nor enduring, relationships with your mothers, while others have mothers that are just a fading memory. And some of you may be mother’s who are estranged from your own children, or have lost children over the years. For those of you that fit into this category, Mother’s Day is no doubt a difficult day of reckoning, or a collective day of celebration that is nothing of the sort. But the overarching concept of mother, as true or untrue as it may be, is something that continues to capture our imagination and serve as some engine of comfort and nurture. Therefore we are impacted (some more than others) by the perennial day of mothers and find our own way to reckon, or celebrate, the women who birthed us, or just simply mothered us.

Sometimes the personal far better epitomizes the concept of Mother’s Day than any general statement or philosophizing can achieve. The excellent StoryCorps project, which sets out to record, share and preserve the stories of average Americans has done an amazing job documenting the sort of intimate informality of life. Here are three exceptional StoryCorps recordings, expertly animated by the Rauch Brothers, that bring to light three very different stories about mothers – all of which are exceptionally touching and honest.

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy!

The story of a immigrant mother’s struggle to care for her young children during difficult financial times

The Icing on the Cake from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

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Read more: Children, Family, Holidays & Gifts, Other Holidays, Parenting at the Crossroads, Videos, Videos, , , , , , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

28 comments

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8:17PM PDT on May 16, 2011

I enjoyed reading your article.
It is true that Mother's Day can be a difficult day, for various reasons...
Thank you Eric.

12:40AM PDT on May 11, 2011

thanks for sharing.

12:43PM PDT on May 9, 2011

I gave my mum a card with that phrase once, she loved it, it is so true, mothers really are everywhere

7:08AM PDT on May 9, 2011

I learned well from my Mother, she is wonderful, hard, controlling, frustrating, endearing, always there, and the strongest, bravest and most loving woman I know. I could never have been who I am without her. God as my guide, Mother as my teacher. Not to say I always listen to either of them, but I try, and am thankful that I am so blessed by both. Today, I am a stepmother, a grandmother, an aunt, and enjoy the business of a big family. Thank You Lord, and all my love to you MOM.

1:24AM PDT on May 9, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!

9:31PM PDT on May 8, 2011

God is everywhere, so let's give God some respect. PLEASE SIGN THIS CARE2 PETITION:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/stop-profanity-in-american-entertainment/

7:23PM PDT on May 8, 2011

Enjoyed the article and videos immensely! Thanks, Eric, for sharing them with us!

4:35PM PDT on May 8, 2011

I am very fortunate to have a endearing and enduring relationship with my Mom. Happy Mother's Day! Be blessed.

4:05PM PDT on May 8, 2011

It's sad the way Mother's Day has become so commercialised, and by the title here it seems that religion is attempting to creep it's way into this day as well.
It used to be that you gave your mother a single white Chrysanthemum in appreciation. But now it has ballooned out into yet another spree for rampant capitalism. It'd be lovely to go back to the original meaning of the day with a single flower or a small posie. This means more than another electrical appliance to put in the back of the kitchen cupboard.

3:07PM PDT on May 8, 2011

Excellent title. Happy Mother's day!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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