What do mothers really want for Mother’s Day?

The answer is poignantly expressed in a post that has been circulating on Facebook from an unknown author. It says that all we really want is time with “you,” our children. We want you to stop by, give us a call, and let us know what is going on in your life.

We just want that person-to-person communication that started from the moment you were born when we held you in our arms for the first time and so easily gets lost in the busy shuffles of our lives as you grow up and head out the door.

We don’t want to text, although we will talk on the phone. But what we want most is to spend time with you, to hear from you, chat with you, our children, who we love with all our heart.

That is the gift that makes our souls sing.

For those of us whose mothers no longer are on this Earth, we wish we could have just one more conversation, one more hug, one more word of advice. One more chance to say I love you, and to ask for forgiveness for the times we weren’t kind enough or thoughtful enough.

Although it has been almost 15 years since my mother died, I still miss her so much and think of her almost daily.

Our relationship was not always the easiest, but maybe that was for the best. Maybe I needed a mother who would set me straight when I needed it and hold me to a set of standards, that, even though I often failed to live up to, I learned to respect and appreciate.

My mother believed in manners, and she worked hard to teach them to me. She expected a lot of me, including that I always did my best in school, made good choices and was faithful in my faith.

After my own children were born, she always expected me to be a good mother. I can still hear her voice on the phone asking me what I was serving for dinner, and the slight inflection in her response, “Pizza again?”

My generation brought a different way of parenting to the job. We were easier on our children, more outwardly loving, I think.

My parents came up tough in the Depression, both served in World War II and everything they ever had they earned themselves.

Although my mother could be a bit of a drill sergeant, there was no doubt she loved her three children to distraction. And we were all a bit spoiled by her. She did everything for us, the cooking, the cleaning, the ironing. She looked at it as her life’s work and she took it seriously.

Her love came through in her cooking. She was an amazing cook and we had a home-cooked meal around the kitchen table every night growing up that I can remember.

She loved her black iron skillets and Dutch oven, and it was in those that she cooked the most delicious dishes. Her chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, soups and stews kept us coming back for more.

She loved to fish and she loved to fry fish. One of my friends even came up to me at my mother’s funeral and told me that she remembered how she made the best hush puppies.

I almost never saw my mother cry, and if she did, I knew things were serious. She really didn’t get mad either, she just got very stern.

One thing I wish often is that I had told her more often how much she meant to me. How much I loved her.

Like the Facebook post says, that is what mothers really want. Not a new scarf or a bottle of perfume.

Time together is the best gift of all.

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Rebecca Johnston is managing editor of the Cherokee Tribune. Contact her at



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