Mother’s Day was a day for counting my blessings. I am very fortunate to have a kind and supportive family and also many dear friends. I am writing this open letter feeling audacious in expecting folks to have any interest in my views, but for me, writing is therapeutic. I have many concerns for the many mothers who do not have the blessings I have.
In our nation of plenty, many of whom have great wealth, at least 10 percent of our population faces hunger and homelessness. What sacrifices those mothers must make to provide sustenance and hope to their families.
And the non-white mothers who must fight discrimination, how do they instill pride of heritage and their religion to their families in a country that is perpetuating bigotry?
Imagine the heartbreak of those mothers who are scheduled for deportation and are facing the danger of being separated from their children. This draconian law, proposed by President Trump, is difficult to believe.
There is also the helplessness that many mothers must endure because they cannot afford health care for their families. The “chic” Children’s Health Care Service is being discontinued and the Trump administration is dismantling the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care). It is estimated that by Dec. 31 of this year, more than 29 million Americans will be without health insurance. This problem becomes even more painful to accept as we recently learned that a health insurance company paid (bribed?) $1,200,000 to Trump’s lawyer. Obviously this company opposes public health care.
My greatest concern is for mothers whose children are serving in the armed forces, facing the danger and horror of war. I thought about Senator John McCain’s mother and her suffering when her son years ago was imprisoned and tortured during the war. After his recovery, how proud she must have been for the honor and recognition he received for his continuing public service to our nation.
We now share in the sad news of Senator McCain’s terminal illness and I am sure, we all are embarrassed by the comment made by the Trump associate with, shamefully, no apology following.
I wonder, too, if President Trump’s mother were alive, how she would judge his behavior and his irrational decisions. She would certainly be proud of his election, but she would certainly question why he would withdraw from the Paris Accords with nations of the world joining to save our environment. She might also have questioned why he withdrew from the Iran nuclear pact. Could Trump possibly believe that our country could trust North Korea more than Iran? If his trust was based on the release of the three American prisoners, he obviously does not remember that, under the Obama administration, 11 prisoners were released, and North Korea continued building their nuclear arsenal.
It would be confusing for anyone to evaluate President Trump’s decisions, but for a mother, though she may not like some of her son’s traits, a mother continues to love. That is what all mothers do — we love and desire a good life for our children. We can make a better life for all mothers and their families by pestering, perhaps even annoying, our congressmen to accept their responsibility to be the “check and balances” of our President’s decisions. I truly believe we mothers can make the changes to make our world better and feel the joy of motherhood that I, fortunately, have.
Harriet Hausman is a longtime resident of River Forest.