"One bright and guiding light
"That taught me wrong from right
"I found in my mother's eyes . . .
"God's gift sent from above
"One real unselfish love
"I found in my mother's eyes."
- From "My Mother's Eyes" by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Abel Baer
When Mother spoke in our house, everybody listened. Dad, the children, the dog and even the cat - all were attentive when Mother voiced an opinion, gave gentle instructions, or broke up the more than occasional argument between siblings or pets.
She was not an authoritarian figure. She could be stern, but usually relied on gentle persuasion to appeal to our better selves. We were more afraid of disappointing her than incurring her anger.
Even the cat responded better to Mother's scratch behind her ears than a whack on the butt with a newspaper.
As we children grew older, we realized daily that the woman who raised and nurtured us was kind, loving and wise. It dawned on all of us individually (we later talked about it) that when one of us had a problem, Mother was not only always there but had rallied the rest of the family to our cause.
She was the most moral person any of us knew and it did not come from consulting a Bible or talking to a pastor. She was instinctively good. Pose a moral dilemma and she would immediately give you a solution that - as soon as you heard it - you knew was the right thing to do.
Today is Mother's Day, a day designated to honor mothers across the United States. We take time today to honor those wonderful women who bore us, wiped our noses, bandaged our scrapes and, oh yeah, shaped our characters.
Given the charter of their jobs, every day should be Mother's Day.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.