It’s May. The month of May marks the return of springtime and the blooming of flowers and other foliage because of those April showers.
You may not realize it, but May is somewhat of a busy month, filled with dates of which you may or may not be familiar. May 1 is Lei Day in Hawaii. Leis are garlands or wreaths that are often made with native Hawaiian flowers and leaves. Lei Day celebrations include music, games, exhibits, and lei-making demonstrations and contests. May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. May 16 is Armed Forces Day, which honors those who serve in all branches of the United States military. May 22 is National Maritime Day, which recognizes the efforts of the U.S. merchant marine during both war and peace. May 31 is Memorial Day when we remember the brave who died in active military service of our country.
In addition to the dates above, May is also known to be the month of “Get Caught Reading” and “National Good Car-Keeping,” as well as some lesser-known dates you might find interesting: May 1: School Principals’ Day; May 2: World Tuna Day; May 4–11: Root Canal Awareness Week; May 8: No Socks Day; May 14: Dance Like a Chicken Day; and last, but certainly not least, May 28: Slugs Return from Capistrano Day.
But of all the important and interesting dates and activities in the month of May, perhaps none stands out more than Mother’s Day, the day we honor our mothers, both living and those who have now passed on, who we love, appreciate, remember, and whose influence remains with us. In keeping with the importance of motherhood, I ran across the following real-life story about a young woman named Amanda Lemmond entitled “Letters to A Daughter Discovered 23 Years After Mother’s Death” by Noel Brennan, a news reporter and journalist in Colorado:
For the longest time, Amanda Lemmond didn’t have much of her mother to hold onto. She still has the stuffed animal bunny her mother gave her one Easter when she was a little girl. Lemmond said, “I wouldn’t give her up for the world.” Lemmond’s mother, Barbara, died from bone cancer 23 years ago in Washington State.
“After my mom passed away, I was shipped around all over the country,” Lemmond said. “From Washington State to Texas, to Louisiana, to Texas, back to Washington, back to Texas—in and out of foster care.” Without her mother, Amanda Lemmond felt lost, until the right words found her. “They’re messages of love and hope and inspiration,” Lemmond said, holding a handwritten letter from her mother. “A little bit of advice—some boy advice,” she added with a smile.
One Saturday, Lemmond received a package in the mail from the executor of her mother’s estate. The executor, who lives in California, recently moved, and came across boxes belonging to Lemmond’s mother. Inside were letters, photos, and mementoes from Lemmond’s childhood—even her original birth certificate. “These are glimpses into my past that I’ve sorely longed for, for over two decades now,” Lemmond said. “They showed up in the mail and kind of made my day.” Lemmond never knew the letters existed. One was written just a month before Lemmond’s mother passed away.
“Dear Amanda, you know I really miss you and not being able to get up with you every day. Well honey, try to keep smiling and be brave,” Lemmond said, reading the letter aloud. “You are very special to me, honey, and don’t you ever forget it. I know you are going to have a great life. Don’t ever give up. Know there are a lot of nice people in this world. It just takes a lot of time to find them. Don’t ever settle for second best. Always, always, make friends that are kind and good and who are honest with you. Honey, I love you very, very much. Keep smiling. Love, Mom.” Lemmond said, “It’s a connection to her that I never thought I’d have again.”
Sounds a lot like the advice my mother used to give me and still rings in my ears. This Mother’s Day, tell your mother you love and appreciate her and her words of wisdom. If your mother is no longer here like mine who passed to Jesus a number of years ago, thank God for the mother you had and the influence and wisdom she passed on to you that continues to guide you to this day.
Thank you, Lord, for my tender but tough mother, who helped me become the person I am today.
I miss you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day!