Honor Your Mother By Rising Up—Our Collective Duty to One Another

May 13, 2018

About the photo: Ina (my mom) & Donna (me) in Robin Hood Caps

By  Donna Smith for Deb, Judy, Janis, Kim—PDA’s Moms—and PDA’s Sons: Dr. Bill, Mike F., Mike H., Dan, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team

Thoughts on Mother’s Day and Our Critical Duty to One Another

This Mother’s Day, think of the mothers losing children to the unnecessary violence of all forms that ignores our shared humanity in order to favor the select few in power. We have a stark choice to make these difficult days. We may teach our children to look away in denial of reality—to cower in submission to the madness of this moment in our history—or else we may teach them to rise up.

I learned to do the latter from my own mother, and I reflect on that as I call on all of us to join with Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) to embrace the seriousness of the duty we owe to one another. Together we can rise up and reach toward justice. “Justice Or Bust!”

Mother’s Day 2018 sees the nation on the verge of more war abroad and social unrest here at home. Yet there is another direction emerging that is a path toward more compassion, less violence, and even a renewed commitment to live the values inherent in a just society. It’s our choices now to listen to our children and our grandchildren that will shape a future free of the stress and anxiety we feel in May 2018.

Together let’s build a brighter future in which Trumpublican rule is recorded in history as a particularly dark but brief moment in time—the death throes of domination by racial, gender, and class-privileged oligarchs. With your help, we can and must put these reactionary exploiters out of office, never to rule again anywhere on the planet. On this Mother’s Day, let us affirm to one another that never again will the United States of America allow “leadership” by those who sponsor war, abuse, pollution, or injustice. “Justice Or Bust.”

It seems a lifetime ago for both my mom and for me when we were together on what would be my last Medicare for all bus tour. When the bus arrived in Alameda, California, for the July 4th parade in 2012, I asked the leadership of National Nurses United (NNU) /California Nurses Association (CNA) if my mom could ride with us through the parade route.

She lives in Alameda, and she is 90 years old. Both of us have changed since that day six years ago, but I will never forget the courage it took for her to allow me and the nurses to help her up the bus steps so she could ride with us and see what her daughter was doing for a living. She is a polio and three-time cancer survivor, and the pain she suffers every day might easily sideline someone with less fortitude. I will never forget that look of joy on my mom’s face.

Inclusion and compassion is a powerful balm. My mother has been a very active community member throughout her life, and the loneliness that sometimes consumes her now seemed unimaginable just a few short years ago. Her age and declining health prevent her from doing many of the things she enjoyed. I’ve sadly learned that people slowly fade away as taking the time to be with an aging parent, neighbor, or friend can become a difficult imposition on busy schedules.

In one simple gesture of kindness, the nurses allowed me to stand at the barricades to justice with my mother one last time for us both, and it allowed my mother to see the daughter she raised sustaining a multi-generational commitment to human decency and engaged citizenship.

Won’t You Magnify Your Effort and Join Us in Sustaining PDA for the future?

This Mother’s Day can be about sustaining one another for the struggle ahead. The progressive path we are on together is not without painful, difficult challenge. Like motherhood, the magnitude of the joy and hope we have for future generations is nearly matched by our anger and fear about our current state of political affairs. Nearly.

We at Progressive Democrats of America still believe we will help forge a path to greater peace and justice. We are growing, and we need to keep growing. Please become a sustainer today or if you already are one, please consider raising your monthly gift.

We are in this together, aren’t we? My mom taught me that, and I am betting yours did too. We are in the fight with and for each other—and as a mother, I donate because I care. Would you please join me?

Peace, power and purpose,

Donna Smith for Deb, Judy, Janis, Kim—PDA’s Moms—and PDA’s Sons: Dr. Bill, Mike F., Mike H., Dan, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team

P.S. We’re here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Dan O’Neal. Join the PDA Phone Team making easy, effective calls from your own home with Mike “Phone Guy” Fox.

No time to volunteer? Then please pitch in $1000, $100, or whatever you can afford. We don’t have billionaire dark money donors. We depend upon your generous support. Please give generously to support our organizing.