This is my first Mother’s Day without my mother. I’m very much at peace with it. She likely wouldn’t have survived the coronavirus pandemic and I wouldn’t have been able to spend her last days with her, playing her favorite music, singing to her, remembering good times and people, easing the letting go. I knew it was a blessing at the time and I know it even more know. My heart bleeds for the mothers (and fathers) and children and extended families who will not have this in these deeply painful times.

But many families will have joyous Mother’s Day celebrations today. As I do every year, I renew my plea to you to find space in your heart for those for whom Mother’s Day is not a happy day. Women who’ve yearned to be mothers but couldn’t be, mothers who have lost children, mothers whose children are missing or detached or in trouble. Those whose mothers were or are abusive, single moms with no support for whom Sunday will be just another day in the struggle. People whose mothers are no longer with us, sometimes under very painful circumstances, especially now.

I send my depthless gratitude to all women who are nurturers, to any people of any age and in any mode. That’s what the day is about to me.

And more than anything, to all the moms who’ll be working in hospitals, clinics, grocery and drugstores, buses and emergency transit, nursing homes, hospice, and any other workplace working for us on Mother’s Day–I see you, I value you, we need you, we thank you, we pray for your safety in whatever mode “pray” may take. Same for all the children who aren’t with their moms because they’re working today, making life a little better for other moms, and all people who matter.

It takes a village to raise a child . . . and a mom.


[The sculpture of the kudu mother and baby is the first piece I bought for my Shona mother-and-child collection started in the 1990s, purchased at a fundraiser for the opening of our city’s first school for ADHD students. My collection grew over the years, but as is true of many first loves, this one will always be my favorite.