In my February blog, I commented on Groundhog Day and how it is now part of many people's interest in how long winter will last. (Punxsutawney Phil missed it this year by more than a few days... winter lasted way longer than '6 more weeks'.) Now, throughout our entire calendar year in the U.S. there is a 'special day' for 'this' and for 'that'. Amazing. Almost every day recognizes 'something'. In Alaska, there is Marmot Day on Feb. 2, same as Groundhog Day but they have no groundhogs up there. Then, there are the upcoming key days in June... June 1st is National Doughnut Day; June 4th is Hug Your Cat Day, it is also National Cheese Day and Old Maid's Day; then June 5th we will celebrate Hot Air Balloon Day; June 10th is Ballpoint Pen Day; July 22nd is Hammock Day; and, of course, on August 13th we will recognize all left-handed people on Left-Handers Day. WOW! Who can keep track... it is dizzying and leaves some of us in a daze.
And yet, beyond religious and legislated holidays there are many 'legitimate' recognition days we all should accept as important and valuable. One was last Sunday, May 13th... and another is coming up on June 17th. Yup, Mother's Day and Father's Day, honoring perhaps the two most influential humans in our life... or at least, the people who fulfilled those roles in our life. Whether they are/were left-handed or not, have/had a hammock or not, or even if they write with a ballpoint pen or not, they both deserve a day of recognition.
The luckiest of us have our parents with us for most of our formative years, but we know that many lose one or both at a time sooner than intended. When one parent is missing, someone steps up to fill the key role vacated for one reason or other by the original occupant of that role. I lost my father at age 18 (he didn't make 50), but my mom made it to 95, being born and dying in the same hospital in our home town of Warren, PA. Mother's Day is a day of fond memories for me, my mom was a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman who introduced me to 'church' and how religion can be an anchor in one's life no matter how turbulent. Father's Day is not so much a day of memories, but one that allows me to reflect on what type of father I have been for my children. I am glad I am still here to be working on fulfilling that role and hope I am doing it OK.
Hopefully, both recognition days, for mothers and fathers, are days of positive reflection and good memories. If not, then use them to at least recognize the importance of both roles in the lives of all people. As Presbyterians, we can embrace both roles and those that occupy them. Join me in being "OK" with these two recognition days.... and, if you have a cat, go ahead and hug it on June 4th.
Jim Hubbard, Member