Happy Mother’s Day.
With that most sincere wish for all moms comes a couple of days after the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, that May 8, 1945, when humanity celebrated the end of World War II in Europe.
Today comes with a thought of how many hundreds of thousands of mothers in our country lived through that day with heavy hearts, because their sons and daughters weren’t coming home from this conflict.
Years ago, when mothers of those soldiers were alive, one mother confided that it was difficult to celebrate V-E Day when she had two sons continuing to battle the Japanese in the Pacific. Still, she said she was happy for my grandmother because Mary Macaluso knew on Mother’s Day 1945 that two of her sons were coming home after being gone for three years. And that, mother said when V-J Day came in August, everyone in the neighborhood, including my grandmother, celebrated with her because her sons would soon be coming home, too.
True, dads of those soldiers and sailors shared that joy and those sorrows, but any of us who’ve paid attention to these emotions know that us men, us dads, for whatever reason, don’t reach the depths of feelings for our children that the women, our wives and mothers, feel when it comes to their children.
I don’t know how to explain that other than to know that we didn’t carry those children in our bodies, then nurtured and cared for them through childhood and continued to worry about them well into adulthood.
That’s why, today, we should take a minute to remember mothers among us who have children in far-off lands serving our country.
And we should make a promise to remember our moms beyond today.
There’s a good way to do that: Saturday marks the start of National Safe Boating Week. Yeah, that’s not close to military service, but when the Enforcement Division report was presented during Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, two more boating fatalities in April sent Louisiana’s total to seven this year. It was one fatality during the first four months of 2014.
There was the note that neither of the two men who perished were wearing personal flotation devices — life jackets — and that report parallels national statistics that show more than 80 percent of the boating fatalities in our country indicated the victims were not wearing life jackets. All these seven victims this year, had mothers, moms who are grieving today for the loss of their children.
We can do something about that: Make a pledge today. Wear your life jacket. PFDs save lives, and can save mothers the heartache of losing a child.
And today, I miss my mom, my grandmothers, and wish my wife, Cheryl; mother-in-law, Carolyn; and daughters-in-law Robin and Katie, Happy Mother’s Day.