There are anniversaries and celebrations that come round every year, making it easy for freelancers to plan in advance. It is important to realise that papers and magazines prepare special issues for these holidays very early for issues such as Christmas, Easter, Passover, national holidays etc.-  send in your proposal at least 2 months in advance.  Mother’s Day is a bit tricky because it’s celebrated on different days in various countries,  but in Australia it’s always the first Sunday in May, in England I think it was in March, for other countries find out on Google.  Below is the story I wrote that was published last year for this endearing and enduring holiday.



We only have one mother in our life-time.  This unique person is the greatest influence on our lives from the moment we take our first breath – perhaps even before, while we are still in the womb.  She protects us when we are small, disciplines us when we need it, and is there for us through every single rite of passage.  Inevitably, one day in our lives we lose her.  Perhaps that is the saddest part of growing older – the losses we sustain along the way.  And she is irreplaceable – we can make new friends, even marry another spouse, but we can never replace a mother.

She stays with us throughout our lives, even when we are mothers, or even grandmothers, ourselves.  How do we remember her?  Perhaps we give her name to a grandchild.  Perhaps we make dishes that we loved as children, and for which  she once gave us the recipe.  Perhaps we wear a piece of jewelry that came to us after her death, and while it may not be valuable, it gives off wonderful vibrations simply because she used to wear it.

I have some earrings that were my mother’s.  They’re only made of coloured glass, but whenever I wear them, I find myself smiling.  She had so little in her lifetime.  Her old-fashioned kitchen in Melbourne’s seaside  suburb of St. Kilda  sported none of the appliances we take for granted today.  No refrigerator, but an old ice-chest.  A man in a horse and cart used to deliver the ice twice a week.  No washing machine, but a big copper and a mangle and scrubbing board. Monday was always washing-day, and I can still smell the wonderful fragrance of clean sheets billowing on the line in the sun and wind.  The clothes lines were held up by a wooden prop.  The big event in our lives was when we got a telephone, just in time for my teenage years, but I was strictly limited to how often I could use it, and for how long I could talk.  There was no television, of course, but we had a wireless and the whole family would gather around it each night for our favourite serial, “Dad and Dave.” Then late at night there was that scary program “The Witches’ Hour.”

There was not a lot of entertainment when I was a child, but the big treat was when my mother would take me to the local town hall, for Community Singing.  All the words of the songs were up on a screen, and everyone would sing along.  I felt so close to my mother then, and thought she was the most wonderful woman in the world.

Born at a time when schooling for girls was not considered a priority, she probably had only eight years of education.  But she was wise, from the lessons of life.  Mother of five, with little in the way of worldly possessions, she nevertheless created a haven for us, where we all felt safe.  She taught us honesty and decency, morality and ambition. She never laughed at our dreams, but tried to help us make them come true.

In some way, I think of my mother almost every day.  I teach my grandchildren the songs she taught me, and the nursery rhymes.  In the food I cook from her recipes, I can still taste the flavor of love.  I find myself using expressions that were hers. Now I see her image reflected back when I look in the mirror.

Life moves on.  Everything changes.  We travel around the world, achieve things that she never dreamt of.  Yet what always remains constant is a mother’s love, whether she is still here or long departed.

It’s sentimental, I know, but at least once a year – on Mother’s Day – we can celebrate or just take some time to remember.



  1. Rebecca Goldsmith says:

    Beautifully written- in your inimitable style. Thank you for reminding us how important this very special person is.
    I also loved what you wrote about your father, his garden, the mushrooms etc.

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