by Roger Dean Kiser
“I wouldn’t buy that woman a Mother’s Day card if my life
depended upon it,” said the woman standing in the greeting card aisle
I looked up and saw a look of total disgust and disappointment.
Having been dropped off at a Florida orphanage at age four I
never knew what it felt like to have a mother or a father. Never once
had I received a hug or a kiss from my parents. That portion of my
life is a total blank.
She looked up, saw me looking at her and screamed, “Just what
are you looking at idiot?”
“Sorry Ma’am. I never had a mother and I was taken aback by
“If you want the worthless woman you can have her,” she replied.
I reached over and picked up a nice looking card, opened it and
began to read, “Thank you just for being my mother.”
“Do you think your mother would like that card? Mine would, I
think,” I said.
“Do you know what it is like to be yelled at for years and never
told that you are loved?” she asked.
“My mother didn’t care enough about me to yell. She just took
me to the orphanage and that’s where I stayed until I grew up,” I
“Don’t you hate her?” she asked.
“Oh, I can’t hate her. She’s my mother. Being a mother is a
position to be respected even if your mother is not a very nice
person,” I told her.
The woman stood there shaking her head.
“Do you like the President?” I asked.
“As I matter of fact I don’t.”
“Do you respect what he stands for?” I questioned.
“Of course I do. I’m an American.”
“That’s why I don’t hate my mother. I respect what being a
mother stands for,” I told her.
She looked me straight in the eye and stared as hard as she
I looked down at the floor and said, “I know your mother might
have done a lot of things that you dislike. It appears you almost
hate the woman. But I can tell you this from experience that
disliking her, or even hating her, is nowhere near as lonely as never
having known a mother at all. Good or bad. At least you feel
something. I feel nothing. It’s all just a large blank of loneliness
inside my heart and that’s how I’ll feel until I die.”
The woman stood there for several seconds. Slowly, she reached
out and took the card from my hand, smelled it and placed it in her
“I’m a good mother. I’m not like her,” she said quietly.
“Then she must have done one thing right, somewhere along the
way. That’s more than I got.”
“I guess.” She acknowledged, hesitantly.
After she left I picked out a nice card for my mother. I took
it home, signed it and I placed it with the other Mother and Father’s
Days cards I have bought throughout the years.
Their address is the same as mine. They live in the file
cabinet inside a folder marked “UNKNOWN.”
— Roger Dean Kiser