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May 7, 2013

Time is the best gift to give on Mother's Day

Editor’s Note: Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away. Due to the request of our readers, we are pleased to reprint this column from 2008.

OTTUMWA — I’m struggling to find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

It’s been an ongoing battle for the past 40 years, and while I’ve come close, I don’t think there is anything out there that appropriately reflects how much I love my mother.

Over the years I’ve given her flowers and candy, pajamas, arranged for a massage at a nearby massage therapy school and plenty of cards.

There have also been gift cards and gift certificates, and yes, I hate to admit it, I think I once gave her cash.

But you see there really is nothing out there that truly expresses my feelings about my mother. After all, she’s the one who nurtured and cared for me until I was an adult. And even after I turned 21, she still reaches out to make sure I’m OK. “I’m just checking to see if you’re alive,” she exclaims if I haven’t made my weekly call back home.

I know I’m not alone when it comes to this Mother’s Day quandary. I have yet to find anyone who has found the perfect gift for their mother.

Maybe the answer doesn’t lie in a floral shop or on a store shelf. And perhaps it certainly is not among the thousands of cards with pretty ribbon lined up row after row at the department store.

Perhaps the best gift we can ask for is time.

As I get older, it becomes increasingly important that I hold onto those connections that are dear to me.

My good friend, Barb, recently lost her father to cancer. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. What she wouldn’t give to spend more time with him now that he’s gone.

It’s sad to think that our parents will not always be there. But if you’re lucky enough like I am to have your mother nearby, be thankful that you have the time now to let them know just how much you love them.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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