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Today is Mother's Day and, rightfully so, mothers are getting extra attention. The bond between a mother and child is very unique, strong and special. Us dads have great relationships with our kids but those relationships are nothing like the connection of a mother to a child.

What makes this bond so strong? Could it be that for nine months they were essentially the same being?

In a study published in the Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, researchers used brain imaging to test adolescents and their mothers on neural pathways of empathy. Participants were asked to hypothetically put themselves in a distressing predicament, and then envision a family member in the same situation.

Mothers experienced "high-self overlap," meaning, when they pictured their children in distressing situations, their brains showed reactions that were nearly identical to the distress they imagined themselves in.

Researchers also discovered adolescents experienced empathy for their mothers, depending on the strength of their relationships. In fact, the closer the interconnection between mother and child, the higher capacity for empathy in teenagers. As we all know, empathy and teenagers do not normally go together.

My mother passed away 27 years ago and I can honestly say I miss her every single day. I don't think anyone can truly comprehend how your world dramatically changes when your mom dies. The world becomes a much scarier and lonely place. The one person in the world who 100 percent has your back is gone. The phrase unconditional love was created with mothers in mind. Your mom accepts you and is there for you like no one else will ever be in your life.

When you lose that link you lose your tether to the only life you have ever known. You have to chart a new course for yourself and it can be a daunting task.

I know everyone doesn't have the best relationships, at times, with their mother. Mothers can be overbearing, argumentative, noisy and downright difficult to deal with on occasion. But I think we would all agree that they are doing these things from a place of love. A mother naturally wants the best for her child. As the research has proven, they feel personal distress when their child is hurting or in trouble.

So if you are fortunate enough to still have your mom around take a few minutes and tell her what she means to you. Flowers, candy, cards and gifts are great but I bet every mom would love to hear how special she is straight from her child. You would be creating a memory that she will cherish forever.

Trust me, there will come a day when you would give anything to spend just 5 more minutes with your mom. Don't wait until it is too late. Don't let petty problems rob you of enjoying time with your mother.

For those, like me, who have lost their mom; take a few minutes and remember all the good times you had with her. Think of her smile or that phrase she would always say. Think of funny things she did or how her hugs felt. Remember your favorite dish that she cooked just right and how no one else can duplicate her recipe.

Remember the love.

Editorial on 05/12/2019

Print Headline: A mother's love

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