by Skip Cohen
There's something very different that happens on Mother's Day when your Mom has passed away. For me, it's become less sad. It's not so much about missing her, but a time that's more of a tribute. I find myself running through memories like searching for a file on my computer. It's an odd but enjoyable process.
Alzheimer's started robbing us of my mother just a year or two before Bambi Cantrell captured the portrait above. After seven years, Mom lost the battle, but even near the end, she still had moments when everything came together. I remember getting over to hospice early one morning by myself, two days before she passed away. I walked in and said, "Hey Mom, you look great today!" Her response, "Why shouldn't I?"
Sheila and I are blessed living in Florida, and it's thanks to Mom; we're here. In October 2011, Sheila could take early retirement from her job, and I could go anywhere I had a computer. My Dad was 89 and needed help. So, for the first time since I graduated high school, I was able to live close to my folks. It's become one of the very best decisions I've ever made.
So, to my Mother...I miss you, Mom. We talk about you all the time. I think about you most often when I'm cooking, and over the years, Sheila's heard story after story of things I learned from you - even the tough lessons. And knowing how much you loved a view of the water, any water, you're in my heart any time we're near the ocean.
And to all of you Moms out there right now who inspire all of us, I can't say it better than Sarah Petty said it a few days ago in one of her Joy of Marketing emails:
This Mother’s Day is gonna be a little different…No dinner out. No trip to the spa. Life is freaking hard for moms right now.
Trying to keep the peace and harmony in a house where everyone is crammed together 24 hours a day is no small task. School from home + working from home + having to put on a HAZMAT suit to go to the grocery store is not exactly the formula for a low-stress life.
And let’s not forget cooking 3,549 dinners every week. I don’t understand how the math on that works, either, but it’s accurate, somehow.
Plus, you haven’t been able to go out and shoot, so that hits you in the ego, not just the pocketbook.
To all my moms out there … I see you - Trying to keep it all together. Trying to put on a brave face for your family.
“I’m ok. I’m just a little tired.”
I hear the waver in your voice. That crack that hints at the tears you’re hiding. Because you can’t keep your family safe from this crazy virus. Because you can’t keep the scale from inching up with the gym closed. Because you love your family to death but ohmygoodness you just want a day to yourself, and you feel guilty about it.
You may not get the extravagant Mother’s Day you deserve this year. Especially if money is tight. (I personally think you deserve a PARADE and a 10-day luxury cruise this year). But I want you to know I SEE YOU. I see how hard you’re working to keep everything together for your family. I see how hard you’re trying. I believe that you’re a superhero for all you do. Cape or no cape.
Head up, mama. You never know who you’re inspiring.
You are inspiring to me.
Wishing all of you a terrific day ahead. Send your Mom a virtual hug if she's outside your house and if she's with you right now, then go for one of those good old eleven-second hugs I used to write about.
One of the first things you learn in an Alzheimer's support group is that you're not alone in what you're feeling. Well, it's no different in a pandemic. We're all feeling the same anxiety and frustration, but we'll get through this together and for many of you, in part, it'll be thanks to your Mom.
Happy Mother's Day!
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