Cheers to our Mothers, to our Grandmas, to Every Women

Cheers to our Mothers, to our Grandmas, to Every Women

It is the desire of God that every mother, every father should be honoured. He says to us: “Honour thy father and thy mother, so that your days may be long.” In fact, it is the only commandment that has a promise attached to it.

Motherhood is a sublime vocation! Every mother, every woman is a gift to humanity. Mothers are co-creators. They carry life within them and bring this life to the world. I often wonder what it is like to carry another life inside of you. I sometimes think of child birth – the pain, the grace, the joy, the messiness and the beauty, the cry of the baby, the arrival of a new life.

As I think of Mother’s Day celebration today, I said to myself: should our Mothers be celebrated just today? No, mothers should be celebrated every day. Today, however, we celebrate every mother, every grandma, every woman in a special way. We honour them and show them how much we love them and how much they mean to us.

I would love to share something with you about Mother’s Day celebration in my family. Everyone in our family bought a gift for our Mother on Mother’s Day. As a teenager, I didn’t have much money to buy a big gift for Mom. My sisters and brothers were older, they were already working and my brothers were in business, so they had some money to buy a big gift for Mom.

There is a something we call head-tie and wrapper that every woman wears for Mass on Sundays or special occasions. It is very special to women. But, I couldn’t buy that for my Mom because it was expensive. My brothers and sisters did.

My gift to my mom usually was a white handkerchief. That was all I could afford. Sometimes I bought her half a dozen, other times one dozen – just depended on how much I was able to save. Mom would always dance and dance as we brought our gifts to her and we would sing:

O bu onye ga-aza mama nne m o o, o bu onye ga-aza mama nne m o o , mama m ife di mma ka m ga-emere gi, aya mma, nne m onye o ga-adiri mma aya mma

The song translates thus – “Who will I call Mom, my mother, who will I call Mom, my mother. Mom, I will do beautiful things for you, my mother, may good things come your way.”

Back to the gifts. The gifts my siblings bought were not gifts that mom could use every day. They were gifts she used only on big occasions.

Mine was a simple white handkerchief which she used every day. I now think somehow I out-smarted my siblings because as she used the handkerchief, she must have thought about her youngest son – me.

But, not only that, there was something more to the white handkerchief: though it was not very expensive, it was a LASTING GIFT.

Mom used it until the next Mother’s Day. The weather was hot and humid and as you can well imagine, she had those hankerchiefs on her all the time, to clean sweat as she worked on the farm, as she went shopping, as she did chores etc.

Today, as I look back, I believe there was something more I could have done. Apart from the gift, I should have taken some time to let Mom know of those significant moments in my life when she was there for me. She was always there, every moment but some moments are more significant than others. I should have thanked her for those moments, for every moment.

Today as we celebrate, I encourage everyone (including husbands) to do something. In addition to the gifts, it would be wonderful to talk to your Mom personally about those special moments in your life when you knew a Mother’s love – the meals she prepared every day, the house she cleaned, the sleepless nights she had thinking about you…

Give her a call, visit her often (after COVID – 19). Let us also thank those who in a special way have shown us the love of a mother and have taken care of us.

To all our Mothers and to every woman: May God bless you. May our Blessed Mother obtain for you special graces to be a mother after the heart of our heavenly Father.

I pray for all pregnant women, for those who worry for their children, for all mothers whose hearts are troubled, may the words of Jesus in the Gospel today – do not let your hearts be troubled – bring you comfort.

May the mansions the gospel speaks about today be made ready for you as you strive each day towards holiness in your vocation as a mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to our Mothers!

Your brother,

~Fr. Obi