Today is one of those days my husband refers to Hallmark-made days. A day – he feels – greeting card companies institute and promote. I think I read somewhere there are more cards sent on this day than on Valentine’s day and Easter combined.
And I believe it because we all have, or have had at some time, a Mother. We wouldn’t be here right now if we didn’t.
Since I am such an avid reader, Mother’s day got me to thinking about all the famous and infamous mothers in literature. There have been a bunch of memorable ones and like I’ve said before, Google and Wikipedia have lists for everything, so did a search for the Best Mothers in fiction.
Here are some of the tops names. See how many you recognize and if you agree with their inclusion in the list.
- Mrs. Darling, Peter Pan
- Mammy, Gone With the Wind
- Marmee – Little Women
- Ma Ingalls – Little House on the Prairie Series
- Mame Dennis – Aunty Mame
- Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest
- Mrs. Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars
It’s interesting, I think, to note that two of the moms are defacto moms, not biological ones. Mammy, in GWTW, is Scarlett O’Hara’s nanny, and is African American to Scarlett’s lilly white, but she is closer to her than any mother who gave birth to her. Mammy is the sound of Scarlett’s conscious on most decisions, and cares for her charge more than Scarlett’s mother ever did. Mame Dennis is Patrick’s Aunt, but she raises him after he is orphaned and brings him to maturity, offering him a world of excitement and adventure to squash his staid upbringing. She instills in him a sense of fun and whimsy he’s never had before, all the while showing him unconditional love and devotion.
I also find it interesting that two of the moms – Mammy and Marmee – are raising their “children” during times of war and national strife and economic downfall. They valiantly attempt to protect their young from all the horrors of war – famine, poverty, loss – and help their children grow into productive adults. Ma Ingalls has to face uprooting her family to travel west for a better life. She copes with floods, drought, sickness, blindness, famine and poverty within her family, yet always manages to make their lives a little bit better through her kind actions and thoughtful heart.
Mrs. Lancaster must deal with every parent’s nightmare : a sick and potentially dying child with cancer. She wants nothing more than to make her daughter’s life light and happy despite the tragic diagnosis, and through her caring and loving ways, she epitomizes the intrinsic and internal strength of will every mother possesses.
That’s what I come away with from having read all these books: the strength of the “mothers.” Be it internal, external, religious or spiritual, all these women have strength, Strength of character, of morality, emotional strength, fortitude, and determination. There is not one mother on this list who wouldn’t fight to the death to protect their young. The instinctual force of maternal protection inhabits every one of them.
Today, think about your Mom, or the person you consider Mom. In a way it’s a little sad we have to earmark one day a year to remember her – we should be paying her homage everyday, and in the perfect world without stressors and strife, we would. But today, call her and tell her what she means to you. Sending a card or flowers is nice, but in reality, the thing your mom wants most is the gift of your time – of you!