Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing women who support their children, families and communities. I am also sending special wishes to the women who do not have children, but serve a vital role in nurturing, educating and supporting children in their lives.
I have spoken to many friends and family members, and this particular holiday can be bittersweet for many. So many people are still longing for one last hug or conversation with their mothers or grandmothers, and this upcoming Sunday might not be a joyous celebration filled with brunch and flowers.
The role of the mother is so unique. My mother, Gloria Greer, has served as a guiding light and consummate cheerleader for my sister and me our entire lives. I have seen her transform into a version of “supermom,” now that she is a grandmother. She continues to contribute to my nieces’ moral and intellectual foundation, to contribute to the day-to-day inner workings of their busy lives and to play the role of fun companion. My grandmother, Lillian McCray, played that role in my life. She definitely wouldn’t let us get away with poor behavior. Let’s just say she was from the South and believed in letting one pick one’s own switch! However, I have such fond memories of us sneaking cookies for breakfast, making fruit cakes during the holiday season or just watching “Jeopardy” as we prepared to wind down for the evening.
I am aware that not everyone has been blessed with a mother that understands their needs and wants. However, I do know that so many women have stepped up and given love and attention to help fill that void. I support the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, an organization that provides bail for individuals currently in jail for bail offenses. They work tirelessly to reunite families and provide individuals with the modest funds they need to return to their lives and their families instead of needlessly pleading guilty.
This Sunday, let us remember those who no longer have their mothers in their lives (for whatever reason) and who might not be suffering outwardly. If you know of someone who has lost a mother or grandmother, use this day to give that person a call and just check in. The person you call might not feel like talking about the lost loved one, but will likely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
If you are going to purchase flowers, according to FTD, the appropriate Mother’s Day carnations are as follows: the pink carnations represent gratitude, the red carnations signify admiration and the white carnations are traditional flowers to give or wear in remembrance of a mother who is no longer living.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is the 2018 NYU McSilver Institute Fellow and an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.