It was a different kind of Mother’s Day. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t full of fancy brunches or lots of gifts. But it was full of love. A lot of love for the greatest woman in my life. Mom.
As you know, Mom may have a stress fracture in her hip. Sister K and I were originally planning to surprise Mom by driving home for the day on Mother’s Day. But because of this new development, I decided to go home Saturday instead. I thought Dad could use the extra help and Mom could use the perk in her spirits. There are times when you feel truly needed once you arrive somewhere- this was one of those times.
Needless to say Mother’s Day in my house was not full of the usual restaurant lunch/brunch of years past. Mom didn’t even make it out of bed all day. Sister K did arrive and Mom got her second “daughter surprise” of the weekend. Sister K is staying home until today since I had to come back last night because of work.
To avoid any specifics out of respect to Mom I will keep things general. Mom was in a lot of pain and was on some very strong pain medicines that began to make her sick. Mom is also having a lot of trouble walking. Going from her bed to the bathroom, to the kitchen, anywhere. She has trouble getting into bed and once in needs to be adjusted. To put it simply, there is a lot to be done. A lot that can be overwhelming for one person.
But, even through the toughest moments of the weekend we found moments of laughter. Moments of smiles. There was the moment I completely forgot to put the brakes on Mom’s wheelchair while she was trying to get out and Dad responded with “Hello Genius!” There were Mom’s funny one-liners making fun of the situations we were in, the things we were having to do. There were the moments where I layed in bed rubbing her arm trying to soothe her and make the pain go away. Moments when she was in pure pain and I started telling gossipy stories to try to distract her mind or I told her to pretend she was back in labor and doing lamaze. There was also the fact that while I sat in bed feeding Mom soup, Sister K was rummaging through the bathroom cabinets screaming about mosquito bites she had just gotten outside and how bad they were hurting. As if we weren’t in the middle of a million other things, Sister K knows how to clear the air while directing the attention elsewhere. And it always makes us laugh.
Finally around 4pm yesterday we all sat down for a moment to eat. This would’ve normally been the moment where we traditionally celebrated Mother’s Day but yesterday’s Mother’s Day was different. We had picked up lunch food instead of going out to eat. Dad, Sister K and I got out the tv trays and all ate our lunch sitting on a bench at the foot of the bed in our parents’ room. Mom was laying in bed finally resting. Hello, Dolly! was playing on the tv. I had put the movie on earlier in the day as an uplifting and fun distraction. I have always loved this musical since I was little and I also know how much Mom loves Barbara Streisand.
As I sat there watching the end, Sister K on my left, Dad on my right, dogs behind us on the bed and Mom laying down I had a thought. This is it. This is what Mother’s Day at the heart of it is all about. A day of love and togetherness with family. This Mother’s Day celebration was a simple one but it was also a tough one. It made me realize how strong my family is, how resilient we are. It was a Mother’s Day where Mom watched the family she has been the anchor of all these years anchor her. She watched us use everything she had taught us and put it into action. She watched the strength she instilled in her daughters come to life. Amidst the pain and the stress, there were those simple moments of laughter and simple moments of love.
I don’t usually remember one Mother’s Day to the next, but I have a feeling I will always remember this one. I will especially remember the way I felt sitting on that bench for the rest of my life.