To mothers everywhere, happy mothers day. Enjoy the breakfast in bed delivered by the kids, knowing in your heart that the kitchen is a mess. Enjoy the forced flowers, the tacky card with the trite doggerel masquerading as poetry. Paste a smile on your face and enjoy the night in the crowded restaurant with the bad service. Enjoy it because, remember, they are doing their best, using limited tools, to explain the true depth of their love and devotion for you. If they had the words to unlock those terrible, real emotions they might just frighten you.
In contrast to Hallmark, I give you the Bixby letter:
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,