Ode to Mom

Reposted from May 2016:

With Mother’s Day upon us, it’s hard not to get smacked in the face with all the sale ads of everyone trying to cash in on her special day.  Whip out your credit card for those flowers or chocolates – how about a designer handbag??? – all for mom.  SELL – SELL – SELL!  SHAKE THAT MONEY MAKER! (Ugh)

Well, I’m “selling” mom, too!  I’m “selling” every one of you on the fact that whatever your relationship is or was with your “mom” – she needs to be honored.

I know some people just weren’t that close to their mom — maybe their relationships with their moms were downright “rocky” or they weren’t even on speaking terms. To those folks, I am saddened to hear that – but if nothing else, I hope they remember this one very important thing – they are here because of her, she gave them life. That in itself is reason enough to honor her good name.

My younger sister, brother and I were blessed to have the most wonderful mom in the world.  The Big Guy upstairs took her “home” at the young age of 91, but she left behind wonderful memories and gems of wisdom for all of us to remember.  A day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear her saying (in no uncertain terms):  “It’s later than you think” (translated: life is short, don’t waste it), “What goes around comes around” (translated:  whatever you do to others will come back on you – so be a good person) — so many wise quotes from her – too many to list, but those are my favorites.

But what left an indelible impression on all of us, was her zest for life up until the very end.  Even with her health failing the last several years with dementia slowly eroding her mind like the tide taking away a little more sand every time it washes to shore, she never gave up trying to learn new things and was always thankful for her friends and family.

I can still see her battling with the cords on her portable oxygen tank, shuffling from room to room, then plopping down at the kitchen table, asking for some kind of sweet treat – ice cream, cookies, cake – give her sugar and she was happy.   The other thing that made her positively glow with joy, was letting her loose at the dollar stores.  Since everything was literally a buck, it wasn’t a problem to get her a shopping cart to lean on and tell her “go ahead Mom, get whatever you want!”   Thank goodness high end stores weren’t on her list!

She loved reading the daily newspapers and ANY magazines I left behind after my visits…from gardening magazines, to Smithsonian Magazine, to even Rolling Stone – she read them all cover to cover!   And at every visit, she would always tell me about the things she read, and would always remind me that no matter how old she was, “she was never too old to learn more about life.”  Towards the end, her body confined her to the house, but her mind did the traveling and learning.

We loved hearing about the articles she read– sometimes about a beauty tip she didn’t agree with, or that “younger” generation not knowing how to dress appropriately.  And while her memories became more and more short-termed, she still “yearned to learn.”  I leave you with that positive thought, and ask you to please honor your mother.  If she is still with you, you are very blessed – hug her and tell her how much she means to you…expand the phrase “I love you” —   let it all loose.  “I love you” is ONLY three words – you can do better than that!   If she has passed on, honor her memory by lighting a candle or indulging in one of her favorite treats (i.e., her favorite dessert or candy) and be thankful for the woman who brought you into this world.  God Bless You Mom, we all miss you – you were THE BEST!