Today mothers are being celebrated for their countless sacrifices and the nurturing of the children in their lives.
They are lavished with love and affection. With homemade and store bought gifts. Meals - some more edible than others - that are made and served with love. Moms receive cards, letters and phone calls from those who can't make it home.
For me and my siblings though, this Mother's Day will be very different. It will be the first one since our beloved mom passed.
I've been trying to find a way to put my thoughts into words for this post for several days. It hasn't been easy.
I don't recall the last time that all of us kids were home on Mother's Day. It is at least 20 years though. It was easy when we were all kids or even young adults. But then - time, travel and other commitments seem to get in the way. We always tried to call though.
Mom never wanted us to spend money for Mother's Day. She was quite content to have either a visit or at least a phone call from the kids. For her, it was always more about family than material things.
That didn't mean that she didn't treasure those gifts we gave her - especially those handmade ones from when we were kids! When we were sorting through things at the farm house where we were raised, we came across a number of those long forgotten "treasures"! She kept so many souvenirs of our childhoods.
She loved nothing more than to have all her "chicks" back in the nest for a visit! She was never really a typical mother hen though. She worried about us but didn't hover or try to run our lives. She never tried to dictate our relationships or what we wanted to do with our lives. She was there to support us no matter what our choices. As long as we were happy and at peace, that was what mattered most.
There was always room for at least one more at the table. We were always welcome to bring our friends home for a meal or even for a weekend. There were a lot of our friends that our parents thought of as part of the extended family. Many of them came to visit mom and dad even if we weren't there!
After I lost so much of my sight, I didn't go out to the farm very often. I just felt more secure in my city mobility than at the farm. I missed spending time with her but my sister or a family friend would bring her into the city every once in a while and we'd visit while we shopped and had lunch together!
Over the last few years, we had gotten in the habit of talking for an hour on Sunday mornings. I'd call right at 11:00. The phone would ring once - maybe twice. She didn't have call display but she would answer with greeting me by name! In all the years we did this, she only got tripped up a couple of times by people who didn't realize or forgot that her and I had a standing weekly date!
In the last few months of her life though we had much shorter conversations - but also more often. She was in increasingly failing health and we knew those treasured calls were coming to an end. With the help of some wonderful friends, I managed to get out to see her three times in the last seven months of her life. It was so hard to see how much her health had deteriorated but I will always cherish those last few visits.
It has only been a few months now, but I miss her terribly. Oh, how I miss those phone calls!
I think of her when I see things that I know would make her laugh and I miss being able to read her email jokes. Sometimes she would even take notes on the jokes so she could tell them to someone else!
We talked a lot about food. I can't tell you how many times over the years that I picked up the phone to call and ask her something about a recipe or an ingredient. She loved hearing about the recipes I was trying and would jokingly say she was coming for tea or ask what time dinner was! Mom didn't bake the last few years so, I did a lot of baking for her as her Christmas present. I'd make different kinds of cookies, muffins, loaves, squares and biscuits. There would usually be 8-10 things in a large and heavy gift bag! She loved all of it and loved being able to pull something homemade out of the freezer to serve with tea when friends stopped by to visit or just to have as a treat.
It felt really strange to not be baking for her this last Christmas.
I think of her when I see certain things on sale in the grocery aisles. I think of her when I read recipes or see one on TV that she would have liked. When I bake something that I know she would have loved, I have the first few bites for her.
If you have read this blog at all in the last few years, you know I've often spoken of my parents and especially of my mom. (I'll post links to several posts at the end of this post)
There is so much more I could say and write about my mom - and someday I will. But today, I just want to remember her and thank her again for being the best mother I could ever have asked for.
Many of us have had to say goodbye to our mothers. It is never easy. Once our parents are gone there is a little part of us - that no matter how old we are - feels like we are orphans. Who will we turn to for help or advice? If we stop and think back on who our mothers were and what they stood for, we can almost hear their calming voice and sage words of wisdom guiding us on our daily paths.
Today we think of our mothers and wish with all our hearts that we could have just a little more time with them. To hug them and to tell them just how much we love them.
So, if you are lucky enough to still have your mom in your life, please give her an extra hug today and tell her how much you love and appreciate her. It really is the best gift you can ever give her.
These are some of the posts where I've talked about my mom:
What Are You Doing To Celebrate Canada Day?
Blizzard Of 1986
April 1984 Ice Storm
My Parents Were Stoners
At The Lake
The Oak Wardrobe