On Mother’s Day weekend, I watched my second grandson graduate from the University of Arizona; my mother would have loved to be there. My mother had a fanatical commitment to education “nobody can ever take it away from you” she droned endlessly. She worked as a waitress in NYC luncheonettes to put her children through college and graduate schools. An extraordinary woman who survived the Great Depression and the Holocaust, and never lost her passion and joy for life.

I look down at the sea of graduates trying to single out my grandson who unfortunately wore no distinguishing regalia. He could have picked me out though, decked out in a top hat and a “U of A Bagel” (red/white/and blue) hanging around my neck on which I wrote his name…he saw us.

The graduation speaker was a baby-boomer media entrepreneur, who shared his wisdom about how to succeed in the world. I found myself wondering what Mom would have said about that? Her values and punch lines were great…don’t live with regrets; when in doubt… party; laugh more; life is not all about you; stop taking yourself so seriously; what you acquire is less important than what you leave behind.

Still profound teachings, and the latter a plea is also from the greatest Mother of them all; the Earth Mother who is warning us of the devastation we are leaving behind because we are not taking good care of the place we live. The rapacious plundering of the earth’s resources, the burning of fossil fuels are polluting air and waters. Global warming, desertification, melting ice caps are flooding the land mass.

We are ignoring scientific evidence in an age of “alternative facts”, where every opinion no matter how crackpot, is given equal validity. People believe whatever they want to, and can always find somebody who supports their point of view. Scientific reliability is now just another alternative fact, so scientists nowadays not only must provide the burden of proof, they must march in public to get heard.

Stop voting for public officials that are defunding programs that sustain a healthy planet. I’m just saying, don’t forget your Mother on Mother’s Day because she’ll never forget you.