Mother's Day is fast approaching, so mark your calendars for this Sunday, May 11. This year will be the 100th anniversary of Congress designating the second Sunday in May as the official day we can all, as a nation, honor and recognize our mothers.
So what do you get the woman who loved, cared for and nurtured you? Especially when she already has everything?
My own mother passed in February, and although this year will be my first without her, I will always fondly remember one year in particular that I approached her, perplexed, and asked her what she wanted for Mother's Day.
"A toilet plunger," she responded without hesitation.
A toilet plunger, I thought? Was she kidding? I found her answer absurd, outright ridiculous!
I imagined showing up to our family gathering which was planned to be held at a local restaurant to honor our mother that year, the handle sticking out of her wrapped toilet plunger in my hand. I envisioned my embarrassment of presenting the woman who gave birth to me such a gift. I could clearly see in my mind the reaction I would get from not only my sisters, but other patrons of the restaurant who were sure to giggle at the sight of such silliness.
It was going to take all the joy out of my picking out something special for her and especially out of presenting it.
Instead, I chose to give her a beautiful glass rose I found in a specialty shop, thinking she was sure to love it. When she unwrapped the flower, she smiled sweetly, as she would always do, and thanked me politely. When I visited her next at her house, the rose was nowhere in sight.
The following year we went through the same routine.
"What do you want for Mother's Day," I asked her in advance.
"A toilet plunger," she firmly replied.
I bought her exactly that, and wrapped it with love. Thankfully, we gathered at her home that year for her special day. When she opened it, she beamed at the declogging device as if it were a diamond ring.
"It's just what I wanted," she declared with enthusiasm.
I learned a lesson on that day. For every precious year I had left to celebrate Mother's Day with her, I always bought her exactly what she asked for.
(Postscript: After my mother passed, I found the glass rose I bought her. She had "planted" it in her backyard! I get my humor from her, and will miss her dearly.)
DARLA BAKER is a reporter for the Tehachapi News.