Sunday, May 13, 2018


Almost every day during the work week, Debbie sends me what we jokingly call her daily selfie. In the middle of her building the minds of tomorrow and me being a nerd in a studio, it's a critical reminder of what really matters in life - in my case, her - and why we always count the hours until we can be together again.

She's been the centre of my world for most of my life. And even though I was a 17-year-old slacker when we first met, even then I knew my world changed when I first saw her.

So many years later, things still change for the better every time I see her face. She keeps me, the kids, and our entire home in balance, and has set the tone - firm, kind, warm - for our kids their entire lives. They are the sweet, sharp, empathetic and ultimately successful people that they are because they've simply followed her lead.

Seven years ago, I wrote this about Mother's Day - A day like any other. And like no other. - and I still feel every word I wrote then:
Mother's Day is, like so many other days on the calendar, a manufactured holiday, a cheap marketing ploy designed to sell more stuff. I'm not against the concept of valuing mothers (or dads, or love, or even the jolly red guy and the egg-dropping rabbit, if they float your boat), but I do feel somewhat uncomfortable when quite legitimate sentiments are force-fed to us in the interest of filling more boats with inventory and more cash registers with plasticized cash.
From where I sit, this regularly scheduled commercial imperative takes the focus off of the thing that matters and instead puts it squarely on the gift, the thing you buy, the guilt that wraps around you if you don't. And what of the other 364 days? Well, Mother's Day coverage doesn't deal with those: all that matters is today.
Not in my world. Every day matters. And while it's nice to have one day where you make a special effort to remember, it's even nicer to find small ways to deliver the same message every other day of the year. Because if you save it up for this one day, you're kinda missing the point.
Less than two years after I wrote it, my wife lost her mom. Days like today, manufactured as they have been to cash in on a crass commercial need to sell more stuff, seem to ignore the collateral impact on those who don't fit the stereotypical ideal, who no longer have their moms, who never had them to begin with, who aren't parents, or who were, and lost a child, or who are lost, period.

So tomorrow, like we did today and like we did yesterday and the day before that (and...) I'll open up that text from my wife and smile. I'll subconsciously reach for her hand as we walk through the grocery store parking lot. I'll stop what I'm doing and look at her. Or think of her. Or talk to her. And listen. Because all we really have, on this day and any other, is time.

And if you choose to spend it wisely, you might find yourself lucky enough to spend at least part of this journey with some truly extraordinary people. And it doesn't matter so much what we call them, but that we make the effort to connect with them in the first place. Which, on reflection, is a pretty good gift for us all.

1 comment:

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Carmi, I always admire how well you honor your wife.