Opinion: Missive of love across a hundred Mother's Days

Once upon a time, I thought Mother’s Day would never be about me.

Many years later, with the help of science, medicine and patience, I am able to look forward to my 13th Mother’s Day. I can sit up in bed on Sunday and await the accolades I feel I don’t so richly deserve.

I can also give thanks for my own mother, who encourages my family and myself, and makes me laugh from afar.

The distance makes me think of the far greater distance between mothers and children 100 years ago, during that black time when families were divided by war, with high odds they would never see each other again.

Those mums could not sit up in bed in last year’s Mother’s Day dressing gown and look forward to an inexpertly made cup of tea. They hoped their sons were still alive.

I found this letter on the internet from a US soldier, Walter, to his mum. It’s not Australian, but let’s face it, we are all one when it comes to our mothers. 

It reads: “My dear Mother, I wrote sister a letter yesterday and addressed it to Hamburg so you will probably get this at the same time, but I want you to know that I remembered you on Mother’s Day. I always wear a red rose when I can get them on that day, but they are not to be had today.

“This morning we received a telegram from Pershings headquarters which is as follows; ‘I wish that every officer and soldier of the American Expeditionary Forces would write a letter home on Mother’s Day. This is a little thing to do, but the letters will carry back our courage and affection to patriotic women ...’.”

“You can rest assured that everything is going well with me and that I am not in a dangerous location… I hope that when the next Mother’s Day comes that we will all be back in the States and can see our mothers on that day...”

I am looking forward to my own Mother’s Day missive, which going on past experience, might be a text message that goes something like this:

“Mum. Mum. Mum.” (Twelve lines of emojis). “Mum, where are you? At the shops? What are you buying? Can you bring me back something? Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. LOL. Love you. xxx”

Alright, so it’s basic, but the sentiment is there. And so is the absolute luxury of being able to hug and spend time with the little people you love the most.

Happy Mother’s Day.