Commentary: The lasting effects of Mother’s Day celebrations

James Ewers

Commentary: The lasting effects of Mother’s Day celebrations
May 17
19:11 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D.

Mother’s Day was nationally recognized on Sunday, May 13. It is now over, and we’ll have to wait for another one next year. There is a great deal of excitement associated with this day. The build up to this day is both warranted and justified. Chocolate candy, flowers and dinner out are on everyone’s list for their beloved mother. Cards and balloons are in every store ready to be purchased.

Children love Mother’s Day. There is a special bond between mothers and children. The bond is unbreakable, and it lasts forever. While I believe fathers have an important role to play in raising children, mothers have a responsibility that is intrinsic, natural and heartfelt.

Many years ago, when I was a boy, I can remember boys teasing each other about their moms. The joking was always about somebody’s momma. Sometimes the joking went on for a while but upon reflection now, it was always about “your momma.” Fathers never got into the teasing conversation. Throughout my young life, I never heard many daddy jokes. They were important but not like momma was.

Back in the day, there were certain traditions associated with Mother’s Day. One of the traditions I remember the most was wearing either a red flower or a white flower on Mother’s Day. You wore a red flower if your mother was living and a white flower if your mother had passed away. I don’t know how that tradition started, but the folks in Winston-Salem believed in it.

I was one of only a few teenagers wearing a white flower because my mom had passed away. As I watch teens today, I realize I had some of the same attributes and characteristics. Wearing that white flower made me feel immediately uncomfortable. I wanted what every other teen wanted and that was to feel equal and not inferior. At times, I felt inferior because my mom had passed away.

Despite my feelings, I soon realized even during my teenage years, how blessed I was to have Mrs. Mildred Holland Ewers as my mother. There isn’t enough time to write about how much she taught me and how she provided me with a loving and stable home. Her being is manifested in me by the way I treat people. I really believe my mom coined the terms, home training and don’t wear out your welcome.

Many times, I can remember my mom saying, “Jimmy, don’t go out here and act like a fool. You better act like you got some sense.” As I played around my neighborhood, those words rang true in my ears.

Almost every weekend and some week days, I found myself in a friend’s house. Usually it was for playing or for eating. Sometimes, the same hot dog tasted better at somebody else’s house. However, I felt more comfortable getting another helping at my house. Don’t wear out your welcome really meant don’t stay too long and don’t eat too much. I obeyed, most of the time.

I am in the fourth quarter of my life now. Yet the happy and loving memories of my mom are ever present in my mind. You see, my mom was my parent and I was her son. My life has been made better because my mom shaped it.

James B. Ewers Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at


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