A man writes to his mother on Mother’s Day (or her birthday), saying all the things that he wanted to say. But only now is a little too late
(SCENE: RANDY is sitting SL at desk with a vase and a flower in it and is writing a letter. He reads what he is writing out loud, or it is done VOICEOVER, but LAURA cannot hear his composition. LAURA is sitting at a dresser SR brushing her hair, fixing her make-up, and is preparing to go. RANDY has shirt and tie on, but his jacket remains on LAURA’S chair.)
RANDY: (writes) “Dear Mom. I just thought I’d write some things down for Mother’s Day. Since you’re nearby I usually don’t think about writing to you, but this Mother’s Day I thought I’d do something special.
“I guess I’ve always been your little boy, and although I’ve sometimes wanted to outgrow that image, only now when I look back do I see how blessed I was to have a mother like you.”
LAURA: How soon do you think you’ll be ready?
RANDY: Uh, pretty soon. I still need a couple of minutes.
LAURA: That’s fine. I’ll be ready when you are.
RANDY: (writes) “I remember your packing a lunch for my school everyday when I was little. Many kids had hot lunches, and I suppose your reason for brown bagging was to save money, but I liked bringing my lunch because I knew that you had made it, and so it was like taking a little bit of my mom with me to school.
“I also remember playing sports, and all the times you would pick me up from practices, or sit in the cold rain on uncomfortable bleachers during games and cheer for me when I did well, or be ready with a sympathetic smile when games didn’t go so well, or the outcome was disappointing. Somehow, you being there always made the celebrations that much more special, and the hard times just a little bit easier.
LAURA: What do you think, dear? The dangle earrings, or the silver?
RANDY: What? Oh, the, uh, dangle ones.
LAURA: Your mother gave me both of these. She’s always had good taste.
RANDY: Yes, she has. I need a little more time with this.
LAURA: Oh? What are you writing?
RANDY: Just a little something, some thoughts. Mother’s Day stuff for mom.
LAURA: How sweet. Let me know when you’re ready.
RANDY: Okay. (writes) “I guess there comes a time in most everyone’s life when they are embarrassed about their moms. Young adults view parents as a hindrance to their newly found independence, and so they spurn the attentions they previously desired.
“It is for those times that I wish to express my most sincere apology. I said and did things to purposefully hurt you in order to drive some distance between you and me. I thought I was realizing my maturity. It was with great patience that you endured those years, and I thank you, and again I am sorry.” (pause)
LAURA: Okay. No hurry. Take all the time you need.
RANDY: (writes) “It wasn’t until I was much older and I had to take on the real world myself that I realized just how much you did for me when I was young. I also realized how painful it was for you to let me go. I was mamma’s little baby.
“All you could hope for was that the love and care that you had given me when I was young, the wisdom and discipline, and the example you set for me with your own life would sustain me on my own journey through adulthood.
“You have done so much for me, sacrificed so much, given so much and I am sure that I cannot know the half of it. Sometimes I am ashamed at the ungrateful son I have been, when one more visit, one more letter, one more hello on the phone would have meant so much to you. Such a small sacrifice for me, and what a treasure it would have been for you.”
(LAURA has noticed that RANDY is quite involved in his writing and so crosses SL to him, and reads over his shoulder.)
RANDY: (writes) “I thank God that instead of asking for return in kind for all you’ve done, all that you wanted in return was an “I love you” from your little boy. Please, please forgive me, for I have been remiss in saying enough of those. And though my heart said “I love you” more than my mouth ever did, I only pray that a mother’s ear could hear my heart when it did. And even if all the books in the world could not hold the I Love You’s that are your due, please allow me to say this one more time: “I love you, mom”.
“Your little boy, Randy.”
(RANDY stops and sniffles a little bit, LAURA puts her hand on his shoulder)
LAURA: (whispers) That’s simply beautiful, dear. I’ll get an envelope while you get your coat.
(RANDY crosses SR and gets his coat, LAURA puts letter into envelope and stands up as RANDY helps LAURA into her coat. LAURA takes envelope and hands it to RANDY, and then pulls flower from vase on desk. RANDY and LAURA cross DC and stop, looking down. They are outside, at a gravesite now. LAURA kneels down and places flower on the ground and then stands up. RANDY stoops down, and places envelope on ground.)
RANDY: (hoarse whisper) Happy Mother’s Day, mom.
LAURA: (long pause) Are you ready, honey.
RANDY: (pause) Yeah. Let’s go home. (they turn to go) And then let’s give your mother a call and wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
Dear David, apparently you haven't read my edict about not making me cry while I'm at work. This article is more profound than you can know. Until recently I had a pretty bad relationship with my own mother; but as she gets older and more frail, and as I get older and learn more about life, I realize there are many things that can never be undone, and so we must learn to move ahead with no backward glances. I had made a conscious decision to just love my mother for who she is and to be her friend through the last days of her life. She's a young woman, but her health is very bad. I'm glad I made this decision, as I feel it broke down some of the bronze wall between God and me, as well as my mother and myself. Thank you for the reminder that our mothers really are special. I'm happy that I've discovered this before I have to leave an envelope on her grave saying the things I should have said while she was alive. As usual, my friend, great job.