How Do We Pay Tribute to Our Mothers?

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Abraham Lincoln

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”
George Washington

It is nearly impossible to give adequate tribute to our mothers. The only redeeming part of the challenge to properly praise our moms is that almost everyone else already knows exactly what you are trying to say before it is out of your mouth. The word “mother” instantly hits a chord with us because there is nobody else in the world that has loved us as much as our mothers have done.

How do we pay tribute to the person that has believed in us when others didn’t…that supported us when we felt alone in our trials…that cried with us when our hearts were broken…that taught us with loving firmness when we strayed from doing that which was right…how do we pay tribute to such a person?

As a seven-year old I bargained that if she would give me an allowance I would, in return, make up my bed and be nice.

scan0040A letter to Mom when I was 7 years old

We tend to say that we want to make our fathers proud of us because we associate our personal accomplishments with things that would make our fathers proud. For our mothers it is different. We want our mothers to feel that it was worth every ounce of pain and effort they put forth in our behalf because of their deep and undying love for us. To me that is a little different from just making them proud of us. They need to know by our actions, that their decades of caring have paid off…not because we are rich and famous but because we have become “good” people. We treat others well. We work hard. We are responsible. We are kind and honest without requiring an allowance. We try hard to make right choices.

gary 16
My Mom’s name is Iris (I was probably 16 at the time)

A nice Mother’s day note or even a classy tattoo may garner a smile and thank you from our Moms. But as we live our lives trying to be “good” people, we vindicate their great sacrifice for us. It is not necessary to try to pin down exactly what “good” people means because it may be different for everyone. You and your mother will know what it means and you will both know if your tribute to her is sufficient.

The amazing thing is that even if you and I fall short, our mothers will forgive us again and still have hope and faith in us. Her love and acceptance simply does not require that we ever achieve the tribute we wish to give back to her. We just need to keep trying to be the “good” person she taught us to be…not just to try to please her…but because she simply taught us common sense truths as to the way we ought to conduct our lives. She will be content when we “get it”.

Living the way we should is the tribute that will resonate with her on every day of the year, not just on Mother’s Day. If all of the sons and daughters of the world lived the way their mothers taught them, this world would be a much happier and sane place. It may never happen, but I guarantee you that there is still a world full of mothers who are still believing and hoping that it might one day come true.

May our actions and efforts to live well be the tribute we strive to give back to our Mothers this Mother’s Day and forward.  Having said that, a  card and breakfast in bed is a nice way to get started down that path to being a “good” person!


My Mom, Iris and her two sisters, Gwen and Lois

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One thought on “How Do We Pay Tribute to Our Mothers?”

  1. How sweet!!! 🙂 Please wish Sweetie Iris and Worker Bee Joey a Happy Mother’s Day from us!!! Love ya

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