Today is Mother’s Day and I have spent a quiet morning, listening to the noises of my husband and kids moving around in the family room. They’re letting me have time to write and relax.
Today, I’m thinking of my mom, Mickie. This is her first Mother’s Day since losing her mother. My grandmother died in November, after a long battle with vascular dementia. During the ten years after my grandfather died, my grandmother declined rapidly. Initially, she stayed in her own home; but, it became a matter of safety and assistance, and she was moved to progressive levels of care. She was moved to assisted living, and then to a nursing home.
Through it all, my mother and my aunts made sure that my grandmother had family with her several times a week. In a time when the elderly are left to fade away surrounded by strangers, with no family or friends to visit, Mom would take my grandmother’s favorite things to eat and spend several hours a week with Grandma.
My mother is my best friend. She’s my cheerleader, my confidant, my advisor and my role model. I talk to her almost daily, about things in our lives big and small. She is the person that I strive to be more like. She is beautiful, thoughtful and kind (but, not sweet!) Inside joke.
A widow at age thirty, my mom made sure that my brothers and I stayed in our home, and had some sense of normalcy…if that’s even possible after a suicide and the changes brought on with combining new families. We never wanted for a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs or food on the table. We took vacations and had dinner together every night.
My mom was (is) the prettiest mom on the block. When I was growing up, she caused quite a stir when she did yard work in a bathing suit. The other moms on our street couldn’t hold a candle to my mom. She was the one that all of the kids wanted to be with on field trips. Her very favorite vacation is on a catamaran in Hawaii, sailing over the waves, and she is the one that my grandfather referred to as “the Barefoot Contessa.”
These days, one of my favorite things is to sit in her kitchen, while she cooks something wonderful, talking about anything and everything. I won’t get to to see her today, as she’s in Colorado, spending time with friends. She got to see my brothers this week, and I know how much that means to them and to her.
Today, as we go about this day, I also think of my own children, Isabel and Ben. I am grateful to them for filling my heart with love, joy and pride. They are navigating their teens gracefully. Oh, sure…we have our battles, and as you would expect from two teenagers, we have our share of snark and sarcasm. I only hope that I will have the type of relationship with my own kids that I have with my mom.
Maybe for today, we celebrate our mothers; but, more importantly, we remember that it should not be limited to one day. Just as motherhood is a 24/7, 365 day job, it should be celebrated the same way.
(image credits – Ted Benson & BB)