Mary E. Adair
Another month has slipped over the threshold into the present: month of my birth, and that of my mother - a day apart - and also that of Leo and his daughter - the same day. Several other friends and relatives share the month of May, if not the mark of the Bull, so wishes to all celebrants: good fortune, bright dreams, and a happy trek during the coming year.
Although we mostly focused on Mothers and the day set up annually on the second Sunday of May to honor them, let us not forget the solemn date at the close of the month aptly named Memorial Day. If you did not take the time to read the article prepared about Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in the May 2000 issue, please consider reading it this year. You can access it by clicking the word Magazine on the left sidebar, then choosing the issue for last May. An easier way perhaps, would be to click my byline for this column, then choose the article from the list of material submitted under my name. Remember this trick when you find a particularly pleasing poem or essay so that if the author has other material published in Pencil Stubs Online you will be able to click right to it, thanks to our talented webmaster, Mike Craner.
Back to this issue...while three of the articles meet the Mother's Day criteria, (including Carol McDowell's prize winning essay "Why I Love My Mom") the recent furor over the attempts to legalize the use and commerce of marijuana - at least as medicine for terminally ill patients - triggered the printing of the well-stated article "The Grass Roots of Teen Drug Abuse" by Joseph A. Califano Jr. At the close of the article you will find a link to more recent information by Califano, and you are urged to surf through the available data diligently.
We welcome back the recuperated-from-surgery Cheri Kennedy, columnist of "Cheri and Mary Experience the Movies." She has certainly been missed for her bright reviews and the ebullient personality that underscores her words. "Cookin' with Leo" by Leo C. Helmer offers advice for mom's which you will want to study carefully. LC Van Savage reminisces about a grandmother and her attempts to nourish LC's young mind so it could appreciate the joy of Opera ("Consider This.") Cassandra spins her words eloquently as always in "Cassandra's World," and Dr. Sam Vaknin examines the dilemma of the artist in "Taming the Beast," while exploring a suggestion voiced by his brother.
Be sure to read the short stories, "Friends" by Liz Gonzales, and an anonymous offering "For All Mothers, Bless Them."
"A Mother on Sunday" is a poem by Lena May Carroll, my own beloved mom; well do I recall her busy days, that extended all week long. Dorothy Asher's poems "Don't Question The Stuffing," "A Sight for Poor Feet," and "Tenth of May" should please you and may jog your own memory about childhood times. "Chosen Child" is a poem you should copy and keep handy to share with any adopting parents, but is included here to emphasize that 'Mother Love' can be as intense in parents who adopt as in those biological ones. JoBi Wilson salutes her mother with the poem "Dear Mom," while Michael Karolczak Jr shares a loving tribute written for his mother ("You Give Your Garden Life.") "Love" is by new-to-our-pages writer heather rose, while John Daniel Strain injects more serious reflection with "First o' The Year." The late Reita Martin wrote "Mother's Day Poem" for a friend who had recently lost her mother, reminding us all that time with loved ones should be measured in togetherness and caring for it flies away all too soon.
Of course, that is what time is doing now, so with a promise to be back for the June issue about brides, weddings, anniversaries, and summertime, we bid thee adieu so you can dive right into enjoying the May issue.