Take time Sunday to call your mom

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Column by Jim Clark

The year was 1997. I was temporarily working out of state but came back to Ocala around New Year’s Day, visiting my family.
We rode somewhere, I can’t remember where, and when we got to my parents’ house, which is now my home, I got out of the car and opened the door for my 82-year-old mom. She took my hand and got out of the car, but gave me a wistful look as she did so.
That look sent chills through me … I don’t know why. I stayed at the house a couple more hours, then had to leave, driving by myself. That look haunted me for hours.
About a week later, she collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the bedroom of that same house. Somehow, she knew she was seeing me for the last time.
There are certain built-in instincts that mothers have, that most of us men just don’t understand. Through most of our lives, we take a lot of what they do for granted, but then suddenly they’re gone, and the love and importance of what they did for you over all those years really hits you.
This will be my 16th Mother’s Day without my mom, and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. As you look back, there are so many things you wish you had said or wish you had done that can never take place.
On this annual weekend celebration, I have a bit of advice for all the people out there whose mother is still alive.
Call her.
If you have a grandmother who is still alive, same thing.
Call her.
In this day of email, Twitter and Facebook, among others, it’s awfully easy to send a quick message saying “Happy Mother’s Day.” Some may send cards, others may send flowers.
But the best way to honor mom is to call her. Talk to her so she can hear your voice, hear your thoughts, talk to you and exchange ideas.
A lot of mothers, especially those who live alone, sit there and just wait for the telephone to ring. There is no substitute for that personal contact that lets her know that you care.
There are many times that I wish I could talk to my mother just one more time, to tell her I love her and I miss her.
If your mother is still around, you still have that opportunity. Don’t blow it.
Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at editor@smcitizen.com or at 352-854-3986.


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