Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Day Card

I received a lovely mother's day card yesterday, a beautiful and expensive one. My contemporaries may ask, "What's so special about that?" Most women my age have children, grandchildren, even a few great-grandchildren, and probably receive cards and gifts galore. I am, on the other hand, childless.

This card came from a fifty-something man who is technically my stepson, but whom I've never really known. He is the son of my late husband from a previous marriage, and he was grown before I married his father. His own mother is still alive, and still blames me for the breakup of her marriage many years ago. (No, I wasn't actually a home wrecker).

Anyway, David has always been something of an embarrassment to me. He is a long-time schizophrenic, does not always make sense, and appears homeless and unkempt, although he lives in a group home now. His writing is the ungrammatical scrawl of a child, and I admit having ignored his attempts at friendship and avoided his occasional telephone calls. Today, I began to rethink the whole situation.

There's nothing I can do for David; his own mother, who is in her eighties, is in charge. However, I need to be more compassionate. Thank you for the lovely card, David. I plan to write you a letter soon, and I may even buy you a cup of coffee when and if I see you. You may be helping to melt the hard heart of a lonely old woman who has always hated or ignored mother's day.

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