Friday, May 8, 2009

VE Day and Mother's Day

Today is May 8, VE Day, the day in 1945 that marked the unconditional surrender of Germany and the end of WWII in the west, but it’s also the last weekday before Mother’s Day on Sunday. Since my dad was a veteran of WWII and I’m blessed to still have my 89-year-old mother with me, I thought I’d try to include both of these holidays in today’s blog.

Most of us are too young to remember 1945, but some our parents or grandparents still do. My mother remembers the day that marked the end of that war, a day that meant her young husband would eventually come home to her. Church bells rang and men fired guns in the air in the tiny community where she lived on the point of Biloxi.

The men and women who were lucky enough to come home are some of our treasured veterans today, but they are a dying generation. Dad died two years ago and his gravesite at the National Cemetery is getting harder to find because each time we visit, more and more graves are added around him. These soldiers fought for the rights that we enjoy today. They were a hard-working generation who lived through a depression, raised their children, saved our country, then went on with their lives without a lot of protest or complaint. A generation we should honor.

Which brings me to my next point – Mother’s Day. If you’re lucky enough to still have your mother with you, rejoice with her on her special day this Sunday. If she’s no longer with you, take a moment to remember her. As I said, my mom is 89, still alert, as active as an octogenarian can be, and still reads – yes, she reads Avalon books. Mother was never a reader, but when my first book came out in 2006, Dad was in the nursing home. I took one of my new books to her, but she told me to give it to someone else who would actually read it. Ouch. That hurt. I insisted she take it and at least put it on her coffee table.

I guess she realized she hurt my feelings. A couple days later she called to tell me she’d read 118 pages and loved it. She finished it the next day, and today I can’t keep her supplied with enough books. Since Dad died, she reads five or six books a week and if we can find Avalon books in a large or dark font, she can still read them. They’re her favorite.

Okay, I’ve sort of gotten off my topic, but my mother is the person I’ll honor on Sunday, but all mothers need that recognition whether they’re twenty-one with their first baby or nearing the last years of their life with grown children and grandchildren. How fortunate we are to have them.

If your mother is as old as mine, VE Day will be important to her because it ended a horrible part of a history that she lived through. Honor her on Mother’s Day and remember our WWII veterans today.


I.J. Parnham said...

That was a beautiful post. Thank you.

I'd never realized that Mother's Day had a different date around the world. Over the Atlantic it's the fourth Sunday in Lent, but having just looked, just about every country has a different day spread out through the year. That's what I like about this blog; every day I learn something!

Carol Hutchens said...

This was very moving, Fran.
Like you, my dad was a WWII Vet. My mother joined the war effort by making rafts for soldiers and taught school.

Thank you for reminding us to reminding us to honor our lost loved ones.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Mother's Day is tomorrow in Australia. We've never been very big on those days in my family. My dad thinks the whole thing is a ridiculous comercial beat up and neither mum nor dad ever remember when it is LOL My own kids usually phone but if they forget it certainly doesn't worry me.
My mother in law is different--my husband doesn't dare forget her on Mothers Day!

Fran McNabb said...

I hope all mothers have a great day tomorrow (May 10).

And, Carol, I think sometimes we forget what the women did during WWII and other wars. I'm glad you shared your mother's contribution. Thanks.