The Backbone of Families
by Oscar Castillo
In every family, there is that one individual who is always there to help and support. These pillars of virtue and wisdom are the ones we oftentimes cannot picture ourselves without. Life would certainly not be the same (nor probably even exist) without mothers. For the most part, they carry us within themselves for nine months, they care for us when we are sick, heal us when we are hurt, and comfort us after a stressful day. Certainly, mothers and mother figures are the backbones of any family.
May is eponymous of Mother’s Day. On this day, we are often reminded how lucky we are for the women in our lives and how they have nurtured and helped us achieve our dreams. The month itself is said to be named after the Greek goddess Maia who symbolized growth and nurturing. In many countries, there are feasts and festivals dedicated entirely to mothers and their significance in society, and in general, to all of life.
However, the modern iteration of Mother’s Day that we know and celebrate is thanks to Anna Jarvis and her mother Ann. Mother Jarvis wanted to establish the day as a holiday ever since the Civil War as a day of remembrance. The intended significance of the day was something akin to a memorial day but focused rather on mothers. When her mother passed away in 1905, she held a service for her, celebrating her good deeds. After forming a committee in 1910, she finally got the holiday recognized, first in West Virginia, then the other states. However, despite Jarvis’ initial mission, the holiday became commercialized and focused on a more materialistic observance. Despite this, Mother’s Day still holds a special place in our hearts as it is a day we like to show our appreciation in various ways.
Mother’s Day in Laredo is usually spent “en familia.” The whole family comes over and we shower our special ladies with affection and tokens of appreciation. Apart from the cookouts and family outings however, it is important to appreciate mom every day. We never know when our old lady will be taken from us, so it is important to love them while they’re here. Mothers are the ones who carry us within their bodies and care for us when we otherwise cannot do so ourselves. Mothers are the backbones of our families and the heart of a home.
We salute our single mothers, and our working mothers, and our adoptive mothers for their labor is no simple task. Mother’s Day is not only for our biological progenitors, but those individuals who have been there for us and supported us along the way. Some of us may not have a mother to celebrate, but there will always be someone there to guide us along and protect us. To those single fathers who are both father and mother, we would like to also thank and show our appreciation. Life, especially nowadays, is no walk in the park, but somehow these heroes of the everyday manage to do it.
Of course, family and mothers don’t always refer to those related by blood. Perhaps mom isn’t in the picture, but someone else rose up to the challenge of being there for one. Perhaps it is a relative or a friend or the mother of a friend or perhaps someone else entirely that cared for how much you have eaten or whether or not you are doing well in school. Sometimes it isn’t relatives we think of as our family but rather those good friends or acquaintances who have chosen to stand by you both in the good times and bad. Whoever that person is, we should always remember who was there to see us grow.
On their day, make sure your mother figures know you appreciate them and how much they have taught you. Show them the fruits of their labor by giving back a bit of their warmth and care. Old and young, near and far, related by blood or not, remember to give them a call, send them a letter, get a flower arrangement, or take them out on the town. To our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and everyone out there who falls under the “mother” category, we wish you a beautiful Mother’s Day. Know that we love you.
Old and young, near and far, related by blood or not, remember to give them a call, send them a letter, get a flower arrangement, or take them out on the town.