Give your mom a hug

May 11th, 2007 by kathy

momsmith_0186.jpgThis Sunday is Mother’s Day and, of course, there are already great mom-inspired tributes out there. The Christian Science Monitor has two wonderful stories about moms. The first piece is by Theresa Dowell Blackinton who wrote a story thanking her mother for “the greatest gift:” her three brothers. The second piece is by Joseph H. Cooper, an English composition teacher at a Connecticut correctional facility. Here, he shares his students emotional stories about their beloved moms.

I wanted to share these pieces with you because they speak so strongly to the power of love and motherhood. For me, this Mother’s Day is a strange one, emotionally. See, my mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and as I ordered her bouquet of flowers, I wondered if she would know what they were for.

In many ways, my mother is still the same. An incredibly loving woman who is both forgiving and compassionate. And despite having a disease that’s eating away at her memories every single day, she still manages to be that sometimes annoying, over-protective mom, just like when I was a kid. She still insists that I wear a sweater when it’s a 70 degrees out in Phoenix. She still worries that I don’t have enough food in my fridge and tries to pack canned goods in my suitcase. And she still sometimes asks—in public—if I went to the bathroom that day. What? I was a constipated child.

But lately, there are more days when I feel like I’m the mom and she’s the child. Although I live some 2500 miles away from her, it’s me who she calls when she forgets what “Conditioner” is or what “Body Lotion” does. It’s me who she calls when her arthritis acts up and her knee hurts her. It’s me who drives her to and from her exercise classes and church whenever I’m in town. It’s me who holds her hand when we cross a street. It’s me who sends her children’s books in Spanish or the large print, easy-to-read word searches so she exercises her brain.

It’s also me who yells at my mother because I’ve had to repeat something over and over again. It’s me who seethes when she has forgotten something at a friend’s house or at the supermarket. And it’s me who is frustrated because all I can do is sit and watch her deteriorate.

I know my mom won’t be the same person next Mother’s Day. And I know that showing her my appreciation once a year isn’t nearly enough. While these stories from the Monitor are wonderful in that they remind us just how incredible our mothers are, we should all make sure our moms know how much we love them year round.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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