09 May 2010

Mother's Day in Prison

The air is thick with emotion here today. Our worship aid had "Happy Mother's Day" printed in red, but there wasn't a single intercession for mothers in the Prayers of the Faithful. One of the Protestant services began: "Every man in this room has broken his mother's heart." Oh great, the Guilt Sermon, I thought.

Back in the days when the chapel handed out greeting cards, there was always a big rush on Mother's Day cards, starting right after St. Patrick's Day. The requests would come in: for mother, for wife, for sister. I wanted to draw the line with the guy who wanted six cards for his babies' mamas. Yikes.

In the past few weeks, mothers have been in the hospital, laid off from work, lost their apartments, gone on a trip, won't answer the phone. Some of the mothers died this year, and it's showing in their sons' eyes. Over and over, "She was the best mother in the world" even if she did introduce me to crack or meth or alcohol. Whoever she was, there's some love there. It may be fractured, broken, shattered, but it's there.

I got the "Happy Mother's Day!" greeting all day, followed immediately by, "Are you a mother?" I am. She's 29 and has children of her own now.

I left work early to see my mom. She's at a nursing home, living with Alzheimer's still after at least 12 years. Lots of flowers from the siblings, and chocolate. I brought a mocha frappe which was a hit.

Today also marked my 11th anniversary as the Catholic chaplain here. I can't wait to see what happens next.

3 comments:

Teresa said...

One of my favorite Mother's Day cards came from the South Carolina Department of Corrections. He's not my son but I claim him as mine, sent it to me when he was there. It meant so much, I would gladly supply them to any department that needed them.

claire said...

Happy Anniversary, Shannon...

"She was the best mother in the world" even if she did introduce me to crack or meth or alcohol. Whoever she was, there's some love there. It may be fractured, broken, shattered, but it's there.

Wow, what a lesson for me.

Thank you.

Teresa said...

This is a interesting story Shannon. Interested in moving?

http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religiontoday/11631496/page0/