There is a special class of moms that I believe should be recognized and honored on Mother’s Day.
It was these wonderful ladies who had to bury a child, especially at a still relatively young age.
My heart goes out to each of you.
I hate to even talk about it.
I have met many mothers, and I know others, whose sons or daughters have been athletes that I have covered.
But, I think you should know that many of us share, even remotely, your loss. We take care of you. We are thinking of you today.
We hope that you will be comforted by fond memories – memories of those trying childhood years, memories of those exciting teenage years and, for some, memories of the beginning of an adult life full of promise.
I don’t have the answer as to why.
I join millions of others in believing that there is a better world beyond this where your child has gone – with the same personality, enthusiasm and smile that you have never forgotten.
With these same people, I believe they are happy and pain free. I also believe that they look forward to the day, like you, when you will be close again.
I’m sure they wish you well, with all their hearts, on this Mother’s Day.
An experience during my early years in Bartlesville always touched me deeply.
A former Dewey High baseball player died in a car accident, if I remember correctly, while attending state college.
I wrote something about it and his mother approached me, at a game, a day or so later.
She shared with me a valuable experience. He had come home the previous week and he and she had sat up most of the night talking about his younger siblings. It was one of those special experiences that seem to happen too few times in life, experiences that bring loved ones together with a stronger bond of love.
He left the next day to return to college, the last time she saw him before the accident.
I couldn’t help but reflect on the mercy of a higher power that allowed them to share this past weekend’s experience, and know that among his last thoughts was concern for his family.
Many years ago I had a glimpse of the deep love of mothers. I had seen a freshman wrestler have his spinal cord twisted until he became a quadriplegic. On that first weekend after his accident – before the final extent of his injury was known – I visited the hospital where he was, about 150 miles away.
As I entered, I saw him tied to a kind of revolving bed. He was unconscious and it looked like there were tubes and things attached to him everywhere.
The thought crossed my mind that it was no better to be dead than to live this.
But then his mother and stepfather – I had never met any of you – came into the room.
The mother expressed her deep gratitude to me how grateful she was that he was still alive.
Inwardly, I slapped my skeptical heart. I am deeply grateful that she gave me a new perspective and a new appreciation for the importance of life.
He survived. He led a mostly happy and contented life for 26 years before passing away in December 2020.
I remember seeing his dad – who was his carer – rolling him around the track while the football team was practicing. Many children injured like this would have avoided such a thing, not wanting to be reminded of the past and what they had lost. But, Greg wanted to be there.
He wanted to encourage his friends. He took no pity on himself. He loved life.
And, I’m sure your child who might not be there this Mother’s Day is loving life. And love you.
I remember a quick personal recollection.
Many years ago I went on a date with a very special girl, it meant a lot to me.
But the evening did not go well. I tried to cram too many activities into it that required traveling nearly 200 miles round trip and making three stops (a meeting, a dance, and dinner). At some point she asked me to take her home because she was not feeling well.
After dropping her off, I went home.
As soon as I walked through the door, I started sobbing, thinking I had ruined what I hoped would be a memorable night for her.
My mother was there in the front room, waiting for me, as she always did when my sister and I went on dates.
She didn’t say much, she just listened to me express my sadness.
The next morning, I had to get up around 4:00 or 4:30, something like that, for my part-time job cleaning offices in a school administration building.
Of course, I was still hungover from sadness as I put on my clothes. To my surprise, my mother had also got up and dressed. She asked if she could accompany me to the building and, without saying much, if anything, she helped me do so.
A mother’s love reaches beyond the apparent and rides the waves of distance, no matter how far.