What’s in a mother’s heart?

I will never know what is in the mind, heart and soul of a mother. I have enough trouble trying to discern my own feelings. But like the saying goes, “Anyone can be a father, but not everyone can be a daddy.”

The very same philosophy describes motherhood, perhaps even more so.

Granted there are some women out there who shouldn’t be mothers, as there are men who shouldn’t be fathers, but all the women I know, from family, to friends, to Facebook friends, to mere acquaintances are true mommies. And while I’m at this point in my column, I’d like to shout out a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, and since May is the month of our Blessed Mother, it’s really Mother’s Month anyway.

OK, now that I’ve gotten my weekly digression out of the way, it’s on to the crux of my column.

So many folks, mostly husbands, but older children as well, agonize over what to get their moms or mother of their children for this special day. Appliances and household items are a definite taboo!

I have a Facebook friend whom I worked with on a YES! weekend and she posted the question of what to get the best mother in the world when you only have $3 in your pocket. I responded that a handmade card for her to put on the fridge would be a great idea. That would bring back fond memories. And I was serious when I posted it.

My youngest pup Emilie didn’t have to ask me what to get Denise this year. She had it all taken care of.

As most of you know, Denise and I lost an infant son, David, 20 years ago this November. It was a heartbreaking time in our lives, but he has never escaped our memories, hearts or souls. A portrait of him as an infant hangs prominently in our living room.

Em was nearly two years old when DJoe died, and now she’s a beautiful, intelligent and caring 21-year-old, just finishing her junior year at UMass Dartmouth, majoring in graphic design.

She’s honed her art skills on the computer as well as with the pencil and brush.

Emilie decided to surprise her mom with a portrait of what Davey (Denise still likes to refer to him that way, and I prefer DJoe, so Davey it is) would look like as he approaches 20 years old.

She received tips from painting professors who advised her to take facial features from herself, her sibs and Denise and me to create her younger brother.

She did just that, adding a mop of unruly hair (that’s my trait) for good measure because, “he would definitely have had hair like that,” according to Davey’s youngest sister.

Emilie worked hard on the painting and the result (shown here) was awesome.


Denise practically squeezed the stuffing out of Emilie when it was presented to her on Mother’s Day. Denise had been thinking a lot about her youngest pup that day, and it was a confirmation that he is still and always will be with her.

The Mother’s Day after Davey died, I gave Denise a Blessed Mother and Child locket with Davey’s picture in it. She said she needed that to know he was OK. 

Twenty years later she got another look at her “little boy.” It is priceless. 

I guess I do know what’s in a mother’s heart. An undying love for her children.

davejolivet@anchornews.org


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