Kate Meyers: This will be my first Mother's Day without my mom. She died in December, and the last thing she said to me was, "Kiss me, Kate." I did, many times. And even though I'm a mother, I don't think of this day as mine. I think of it as hers. She hated it nonetheless. Thought it was silly. Called it a "Hallmark" holiday.
My mom could curse like a sailor, and so she stated her opinion in more colorful terms. I would laugh and do something for her, anyway -- a card; a small gift. She protested, but I know she appreciated the thought. My family has never been big on gifts, but two of my brothers lived in the same city as my mom, so my sisters-in-law usually hosted some kind of Mother's Day celebration -- a backyard brunch or evening barbecue.
That was the perfect gift. Like a true great mom, she reveled in the company of her children and grandchildren. She sat regally, the Queen Mother, looking out on a population she could proudly claim. My Jewish mother borrowed from (and rephrased) St. Francis when she told me, "Preach love every day and, if necessary, use words." We all felt the love and remember the words. It melts me when her grandchildren tell their favorite stories from -- or about -- my mom. My girls love this one she told about a friend of my grandfather's who couldn't pronounce his Rs: He called his mother "Mother Dear" -- but when he said it, it sounded like "Muddle Dill." My daughters have called me "Muddle" ever since. So this year, it feels appropriate that we rechristen today's annual event "Muddle's Day."