Since losing my mother almost four years ago, I find myself missing her all year long, not just on Mother's Day. Something will trigger a memory, usually followed by a poignant moment of reflection and most of the time a smile.
Sheila will often catch the expression on my face and ask, "Where are you?" That one question will lead me into a story about something that once happened in my life involving my mother. Minutes later the memory is filed away and it's back to whatever I was doing.
So, this morning, I don't want to do a tribute just to my mother as much as I want to do a tribute to all of us whose mothers have passed on. This is a lot harder to write about and explain than I thought.
First, I mean no disrespect to those of you who are mothers right now. In fact, just about all my female friends and associates are Moms, and you're all amazing. You've found that special balance between motherhood and being an artist/business owner. You're working hard in so many different directions and today, thanks to Hallmark and consumerism, it's your day, although hopefully, you know you're appreciated all year long.
Now, to those of you having no place to send a Mother's Day card, except in your thoughts to the heavens, Happy Mother's Day. The key operative word is "happy," which isn't so easy to do. For me, it started with looking at old pictures. Then, I decided to pick out a couple of stories from the archives of my brain to share with Sheila. Last on the list will be to take a few minutes to "talk" to my Mother. Yes, I'm going to say something out loud that I wish I'd said more of when she was here with us.
Sheila and I moved to Florida in 2011 to help my Dad fight the battle with my mother's Alzheimer's. We totally underestimated the love and joy we'd share by being here. Living close by, even with the disease, gave us moments of smiles. I don't wish the challenge with Alzheimer's on anybody, but there is something special that happens - you learn to appreciate the smallest of things. You learn to look for those special moments when the personality of somebody you love comes shining through, and you work hard to let the storms pass.
The thirty-second clip below is a perfect example. Captured with a Flip video camera in 2010, we were laughing the morning after taking Mom and Dad out to dinner. Mom had just been out of rehab a short time after breaking her hip. Wheelchair and all, with my Dad insisting on pushing, we took her to Tommy Bahama's for dinner. She had a couple of pina coladas with dinner and with both drinks immediately sipped the dark rum floater off the top first. This was early on in the Alzheimer's battle. Mom didn't always understand what was going on, but she was happy most of the time, and the days of her smiling were in the majority.
I've got great memories to appreciate today about my mother and I'm wishing all of you, who have lost your mothers, a day filled with smiles as you wander down Memory Lane. And, for those of you who will physically get time with your mother today - go for those eleven-second hugs. Don't waste a minute on anything other than reminding them how important they are in your life.
Happy Mother's Day!
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