Mothers deserve love and respect every single day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Thanks, mom.

All too often, we’re way too old before we say this.

Mother’s Day was last Sunday, a day we set aside our own plans to be with our mothers, to honor them, to give them a day off from the chores they do on a daily basis. A day. A single day.

Although you’re not likely to hear a mother complain, a single day isn’t enough.

Mothers should be celebrated every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day … you get the picture.

I don’t want to compare mothers to dogs, but they offer the same unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what you do, your mother will always love you. Rob a bank and get slapped into prison, and your mother won’t approve of your actions, but she’ll still love you. She’ll probably be one of the few to visit. Tell her you hate her and never want to see her again, and she’ll be devastated. She may even give you “your” space. But she’ll still love you.

The roles of mothers outside of the home have changed drastically over the years. Back in the day, most mothers stayed home and cooked and cleaned and raised children while the men worked, either in town or on the farm. That image may make us want to go back in time, but it isn’t accurate.

My own mother didn’t have that luxury. Our family needed money, so she worked, as did our father. There were few jobs for women in Davie County back then, especially for Alabama transplants with no formal training for a certain job.

So she, as did many other local women, worked in a sewing factory, making clothes. It wasn’t a fun or particularly rewarding job, but it paid money. Money that could be used to buy food. Money that could be used to buy Christmas presents. Money that could be used to pamper her children, if only a little bit.

One of my earliest memories is centered on Fridays, when mom would get paid. On the way home from work, she would stop at, I think it was called the Hilltop restaurant, and buy hotdogs. They were probably 10 for a dollar. The hotdogs didn’t always make it into the house before we were clamoring for a bite. I don’t remember, but we probably ate them all before she got one for herself.

After slumping over a sewing machine all day, she needed a break. But she didn’t get it.

All too often, when she got home it was time to referee one of the skirmishes me and my brother and sisters had gotten into with one another. All too often, we complained about being hungry, so she got off work and went straight to the kitchen. All too often, we would complain about school, our lives, our food, so she would listen.

But she didn’t complain. Because that’s what mothers do. They nurture. They provide. They love. Not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.

My mom was an amazing woman. Tired of the sewing factory, she took classes to become a nurse’s assistant, and got a job a Davie County Hospital, all while still being a mother to her four children.

I was the youngest, the brat, and I cringe at how I acted back in the day. I whined and begged too much, once for a certain brand of tennis shoes. She bought them for me, no telling what she did without to provide her spoiled son with just a pair of shoes.

Yes, Mother’s Day has passed. It’s too late for me to tell my mom how much I love and appreciate her, but if your mother is alive, tell her what she means to you, tell her you appreciate the sacrifices she made just for you. Tell her again tomorrow, and the next day …

Mike Barnhardt is the editor of the Davie County Enterprise-Record.

Respect Quote of the Week

“I think respect can be spoken and shown through actions. Examples could be holding doors for people, and addressing them respectfully.”

— Sydney Walterman