I woke up at 3:58 this morning with rainy darkness just breaking through the trees, and my phone said it was May 6.

Then a voice — Hers, or God’s, or just the breeze coming in the window, or my editor’s, or any one of them, or all — told me that I had sent in a column about “Military Appreciation Month,” for May 12.

“You messed up. May 12. That’s Mother’s Day,” it whispered.

But it’s just Monday today and that will be followed by Tuesday.

So until something good finds a spot in my sleepless brain, I had better get up and start writing something about Mother’s Day and put the “Heroes” column back on another Sunday.

I awoke my daughters.

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We all agreed that we had written about She, our Mother who left us on April 6, in enough detail, what with a generous obituary that covered every note in the musical score that was her life, and that we should leave it at that with kisses.

So here I am this morning, inhaling coffee, having fed Ms. Kramer, and trying to say something decent about Mother’s Day.

How does one do that only a month after losing her? You don’t. We’ve said enough. We move on.

On my block and the next and the next, all over central Maine and down to Portland and the sea, the hospitals are full of young women like She once was, bringing babies, like ours, into a world turned sour. Mother’s Day.

This morning in the store getting eggs, I found myself knee-deep in flowers of a 1,000 colors: daisies, roses, towering white lilies.

But we have to stop at some point before the sun sets, to remember that we live in a world where mothers and their children are going hungry this very morning.

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We here have programs for the homeless and the hungry, but Cindy McCain, the director of the World Food Program, said this morning that “starvation is entrenched in northern Gaza” and is “moving its way south.”

That’s just a headline, a group of words. But when the cameras of the free press moved down along the Gaza Strip, they showed a horrifying parade of women holding empty-eyed infants at their breasts, some so hungry they couldn’t move or speak.

The boys go out every day in search of pieces of wood to warm the house and cook food, since Israel cut off fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip.

On this Mother’s Day Sunday, we will able to watch a boy being questioned on camera.

“First there was flour, until it ran out. Then we could get wheat, and that ran out. Then corn kernels. Then we tried animal feed. Now my mom makes us a pudding with water and starch and we eat that,” he says.

In Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, over a million people — elderly, children, the fathers and mothers — sit displaced by the war. Are they starving?

On this Mother’s Day, is anyone in Biden’s world listening? Is anyone, anywhere, listening?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 


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