Mother’s Day Letter(This letter was published many years ago in Ann Lander’s column)

Dear Mom,

Since I can’t spend Mother’s Day with you, I am writing you a letter. Mom, I love you so much. There are many things that I didn’t understand when I was young, but I understand them now.  I didn’t have any idea how hard you worked, and the burdens you carried until I traveled the road myself. I didn’t know how rough it was when you were having trouble with Dad and us kids, but now I know. I didn’t realize how lonely you were until I was lonely. I didn’t realize how I hurt you, until I was hurt the same way by my own children. I didn’t know how many times I could have made you happy by just saying, “I love you, Mom.” But now I know, because those are the words I long to hear from my own kids.  When I was growing up, we had our share of battles. I remember how I thought you were too hard on me because you insisted that I keep my room clean, turn off the TV and do my homework, hang up my clothes, do chores around the house, and write thank-you notes right away. You made me do a lot of things I didn’t want to do. You said it was good for my character. I couldn’t see the connection, and I thought you were nuts. But now I have kids of my own, and I understand a lot better. I am grateful that you didn’t let me wear you down.  I remember your strength; it gives me strength with own kids. It seems like I found the times for everything and everyone but you. It would have been easy to drop in for a cup of tea and a hug, but my friends came first. Would any of them have done for me what you did? I doubt it. I remember the times you called on the phone, and I was in a hurry to get off. It makes me ashamed. I remember, too, the times I could have included you when my family had outings, but I didn’t. It took me all my life to learn what a mother is. I guess it’s impossible to know until you become a mother yourself. Believe me, now I know how rough you had it and how terrific you are. Time has a  way of slipping away. We become so involved in living from one day to the next that before we know it, the tomorrows are yesterdays. I hope this letter gives you an idea of how much I admire and respect you, Mom, you are the greatest!