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May 9, 2013

Honoring Mothers Around the World
Liese Sherwood-Fabre
While living in Mexico, I stopped at a store one morning on the way to work. At the check-out counter, the clerk asked me if I were a mother and then wished me a happy Mother’s Day when I told her I was. Taken aback, I thanked her and went on to the embassy. Sharing the incident with a colleague, I realized how the celebration differed from that in the US. In Mexico and some other Latin American countries, the date for celebrating motherhood doesn’t change. It is always May 10 and can fall on any day of the week—unlike in the US where it is always on a Sunday. Outside of church, the chance of non-family members in the US acknowledging your role as a mother is much lower.

When we moved to Russia, I learned about International Women’s Day—celebrated on March 8. This is Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day all rolled into one. In our office, the men took up a collection and gave all the women flowers. My husband’s company lined up all the women, and the department heads congratulated each woman individually. Outside of work, restaurants were crowded with patrons and flower stalls sold out.

Regardless of the country, almost all recognize and honor the importance of mothers and women to the family and society, and although awkward at first, I’m now appreciative of the support those outside my family have shown.

So to mothers everywhere—whether you celebrate on May 10, March 8, May 12, or some other date—I wish you a happy day and thank you for all you do for your families!

What about you? When or how will you honor the mothers in your life?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of  my debut novel Saving Hope, describing one mother’s efforts to save her child.  You can read more about this book at Musa Publishing.


Sylvia said...

Happy Mother's Day to you Liese. I've already given my mother her present and I will call her on Sunday.

Andrew of Dunedin said...

My aunt filled the "mother" role for me. Every year, I send my father a few bucks, and he picks out some hanging flower baskets. (It's not as impersonal as it sounds ... this way, she is ensured the absolute best looking sets at the stand where he buys them!)
p.s. Happy mother's day, Liese!!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Hi Liese!
Love the picture.
I always think of my Mom and miss her on Mother's Day. For years I would fall apart on that day. It's so hard to know how to be a mom without one to show the way. She died when I was 13 and I miss her.

Loved Saving Hope!! I was just talking about that book last night to some friends. The winner will be lucky!!!

Elizabeth Essex said...

Lovely post, Liese.

My favorite part of mother's day is church, where we have a tradition of asking all the mothers to stand, and then, group by group, each generation sits—youngest to oldest. So after the mothers, all the grandmothers remain standing, and then all the great-grandmothers, and then the great-greats. There is always a rousing round of applause for the one or two great-greats.

It never fails to make my day.

Happy Mother's day to all!

Cheers, EE

Pamela Stone said...

Happy Mother's Day to Liese and all the other mothers out there. Great post. Our family typically shares a meal and just enjoy one another's company.

Liz Lipperman said...

Great post, Liese. I miss my mother a lot, too. At our house, we celebrate with my kids and their spouses, and the men cook for us. The best part of mother's day for me is seeing how wonderful my own daughter took on the challenge with her own kids. I must have done something right.

Liese said...

Andrew of Dunedin:

Congratulations! You won a copy of Saving Hope!
Please contact me at to get your copy!

Raj Verma said...

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