Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother -- the Queen of the World -- lives far away in Vancouver. I always phone her on Mother's Day evening to say hello, which isn't good enough for her. She wants me to write a mushy card and send her flowers "like the other mothers get." She outright told me that. I have a decent job but can't afford a lot, and explained all that to her, but she was still hurt and peevish. I love her lots, but isn't this too much to ask? What do you suggest? -- Winnipeg Son, St. Vital
Dear Winnipeg Son: It's not too much to give a tangible Mother's Day gift to a woman who gave you life and took care of you for all those years. For this year, with no time left to make a big change, send a mushy online card immediately, with a big photo of flowers. Then phone her and tell her how much you love and appreciate her, and all she's done for you, and walk her through picking the card up online and printing it for herself. For next year, here's a hot tip: Wiring flowers costs a lot of money, but you can bet your mom would be more than happy to get you the phone number of the florist nearest her. Call directly, well before the event, chat up the florist give a credit card number and be sure to dictate a loving card to go with it. Your momma wants to show her friends you love her, with the real flowers. Quite understandable. Frankly, you're lucky she tells you directly what would please her, rather than having her silently hurt on a special day.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I don't have a mother, but the woman who turned my life around was a teacher. I don't call her Mom, but I always remember her on Mother's Day for feeding me before school and taking me home when my parents forgot to get me (she lived close to the school) because they were out drinking. She made sure I had warm clothes and boots in the winter, and a Christmas and birthday present. I spent many days after school happily helping her when there was no one at home. I realize as an adult she didn't need to stay that long after school and was probably staying just for me. She was a music teacher and also taught me how to play an instrument, which provided me with enjoyable work and money to put myself through university. My own mother wasn't much of a mother to me and died young, but this teacher gave me many of the things I lacked, including pride in myself and the feeling that I was a good person with special gifts. -- Thankful Forever, Winnipeg
Dear Thankful: There are many ways to be a mom figure in this world and I wish for a more encompassing word for this modern world, because there are a lot of stepmoms, aunties, grandmas and neighbour ladies, as well as teachers, who nurture kids in a mother-like way. Anybody with a creative suggestion? Please send it in. Maybe someone could create a new line of cards for all kinds of mother figures.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org