Mothers’? or Mother’s Day?

I tried the apostrophe in the title of this post in two places: “Mothers’ Day” and “Mother’s Day” and finally decided it is correct either way. One for all the mothers who are celebrated today, and the other specifically and especially for my mother. How different life is for her now than when all four of her children were home: daily laundry (whatever I put in the hamper the night before appeared in my closet or drawer the next day, AND SHE ALWAYS HUNG HER LAUNDRY TO DRY), homemade bread for sandwiches, no store-bought, cookies in the tin–what kind today? If the cookies were not popular, frost them and they’ll get eaten. She canned applesauce from our two trees, made pickles with dill from her garden, jams and jellies for the for the whole year, volunteered by visiting shut-ins, she was Brownie and then Girl Scout leader, she exercised–who DOESN’T want to get up at 5:00 a.m. to bike so you can be home in time to get cookies baked before the kids get up? Sunday School teaching, lawn-mowing, weed-pulling, dog-walking, mitten-knitting, book reading…. Well, no need to go on.

We did a lot of fun things with Mom. We swam almost every day in the summer, which set up my brother, me, and one of my sisters as lifeguards and swimming instructors. We sledded frequently at the only hills in town, the Country Club. We roasted hot dogs in the fireplace, and ate at the coffee table in the living room (HUGE fun!). We went on picnics, made a day trip to Higgins Lake if it was really hot, and ate fresh blueberry muffins–I don’t have to tell you who baked them. We tobogganed at a local toboggan run and once or twice had a winter picnic–if you can imagine THAT! When Dad was out of town, we were allowed to stir our vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and peanuts (the famous “tin roof” sundae) into a lovely homemade soft serve with frozen peanuts–I can taste it now. Dad did not approve of any manners that were not appropriate for a visit with the Queen of England–thanks Dad, for my good table manners.

Lately, Mom occasionally mentions that she “knows [she's] dumb,” and I counter by saying that she is a smart person who has a memory problem, bad eyes, a leaky bladder and worn out legs, but none of it is her fault. That she would change it if she could. She also feels bad when we have a dinner and she didn’t bring anything or do any work. Yes, how very LAZY of you, Mom, I say and we laugh. Even if she can’t remember being the busiest Mom on the block, I can.The card I got Mom for this Mother’s Day thanked her for always being there, especially for the tough times, and that she was still important to me today….I added, “No matter what you can or can’t do anymore.” My hat is off to my brave mother as she walks this nasty path of dementia, but never feels sorry for herself; rather, she’s kept her sense of humor throughout. All your children love you, Mom! And don’t worry–we know you are always doing the best you can.

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