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May 7, 2021 in General, Rabbi Greg Harris
We used to visit Disneyland frequently. My parents grew up in Southern California so family trips from the San Francisco Bay Area were common. Here we are, probably 45 years ago, on a rollercoaster – my mom, me, my cousin Melanie, and my big sister in the front seat of the car.
Looking at family photos, I think about how old my parents were and what I was doing at their same age. What was happening when they were 30… 40… 50 years old? What was I doing at these same ages? At 30, Ben was born. At 40, we had three children and full careers. At 50, I was closing in on 20 years at Beth El and a global pandemic was raging.
As a young person, I was wrapped up in my own life. I was unaware of the stressors of ‘adulting.’ Now as an adult myself, I realize how easy it is to be distracted by work, volunteer activities, life concerns, and more. My mom taught me about the centrality of family even, or especially, through life’s bumps.
Mom has always been present. (Yes, as a teenager that was too present sometimes.) She always tells us – “It’s never enough!” She means it is never enough time together. It is never enough laughing together. It is never enough memories created together. Since my dad died a decade ago, I know she is right.
Proverbs (22:6) says, “educate a child on the proper path and when he is old, he will continue to be on it.” I am appreciative of the path my parents set me on.
Now that we are vaccinated, Mom has begun her regular visits to Bethesda again. Five grandchildren in Montgomery County is a big draw – even if the oldest grandkid is off at college. She is a steady support for our entire family. She is a travel companion at a moment’s notice and has modelled ‘resiliency’ during this past year and far longer.
Mom, thank you for everything you have given me. I hope you feel loved and valued this Mothers’ Day. (And I hope my sisters signed my name to the card this year!) Further, I hope all the women who take on the role of mother know how important you are in your family. Thank you for everything you do.
Happy Mothers’ Day
PS – It is this Sunday so you still have time to get a card!