This time of year, amidst Valentines, Mother's Day and our anniversary, I am often reminded of my mother. Mom lived by stringent proof-of-love standards, as set up by the Hallmark Corporation. In fact, I often wondered if those weren't the only signs she knew how to read. In her world, if you didn't receive that corsage to wear to church and lunch at a fine restaurant on Mother's Day, roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentines, a piece of jewelry on your anniversary, and a cake with candles plus a mountain of well-wrapped gifts and everyone gathered round you on your birthday, then it was obvious your family didn't love you. Hallmark said so.

And, in accordance with the studies having to do with birth order, those values were passed down to each of her successive offspring in an ever diluted state, so that by the time we came to my little brother - the youngest - he was so oblivious to The Rules that he's been known to forget to even show up for his own celebrations! It's a good thing I was child #3, because John is to The Hallmark Rules what matter is to anti-matter. He's never baked a birthday cake in his life, feels morally compelled not to send flowers on the expected occasions, and was rarely even in town on our anniversary, and yet, I couldn't feel more loved.

You see, it's the little unexpected things that he and the kids do, for no particular reason at all, that make my heart go pitter-patter. It's a 24 year old son who still gives me a big ol' bear hug when he sees me, or overhearing your daughter telling someone "When it comes to parents, Austin and I pretty much won the lottery." It's finding that homemade, crayola-drawn card that my sweetie tucked under my pillow one time - the one that started out "To An Oolie-Droolie Girl." Could Hallmark possibly top any of that? Not in a million years.

P.S. Many thanks to for the above image.
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5