If you haven’t done so already, call your mother!
I recently rediscovered a poem by one-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins entitled “The Lanyard”. The narrator of the poem remembers making a lanyard for his mother while at summer camp. Here is an excerpt:
…I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp…
I love this poem, because it’s such a fitting picture of the way things work. I love the contrast between the gifts of the mother and this one cheap, useless piece of plastic. Our mothers give so much. And nothing we give in return can measure up to the mountains of blessings they pour out onto us.
So today, on Mother’s Day, I hope you have been given something. I’m sure that whatever you were given in no way measures up to what you have given out. But I hope that it still reminds you just how important you moms are. May God bless you as you bless us.