Hammertime: Celebrating Mother’s Day

Take time to cherish and pamper all moms on Mother’s Day

Mike Rainone

Hammertime

I always get a little emotional on Mother’s Day in May, really looking forward to the kids coming over to pamper their favourite lady, as well as answering the phone and then handing it over to my wife to chat with the siblings who unfortunately couldn’t make it on this very special day.

Our mother passed away many years ago, but I will never forget her, and she will always have a special place in our hearts.

• Our mother was afraid of thunderstorms and mice, but when it came to protecting her little family she was the bravest lady in the world.

• Our mother knew ‘how to make ends meet’, especially when we first came to Canada in 1948 and didn’t have very much. There was always good food on the table, warm clothes and blankets, and lots of TLC to go around.

• Our mother had no college degrees or medals, but she was a specialist around the stove, at making second hand clothes look great, and at curing all those ailments and fusses that we all got into when we were kids.

• Our father was fair but firm, and my mother was gracious and gentle; but faithfully together with that magic formula they kept us both in line and raised us to respect, appreciate, enjoy, and praise the Lord for what we had.

• Our mother was a ballet dancer and worked in a bomb factory in Britain before I was born; but at a diminutive 5 foot 2 and less than 100 pounds we always believed that she could move mountains and soon learned that she could swing a pretty mean fly swatter when my brother and I didn’t pay attention.

• Our mother never raised her voice, but she was always heard when it was time to come for dinner, get up for school, pick up our clothes, or be quiet and go to sleep.

• Our mother always made sure that we shared everything…from clothes, to toys, dessert, secrets, and punishment, if it was deserved. The only exception to her getting rather rambunctious and emotional was when she watched her favourite television programs, which included afternoon soap operas and Stampede wrestling.

• Our mother had an uncanny way of sewing on a button, making dinner, ironing pants, and dressing up real nice, all at the same time. She was also blessed with a unique knack of finding out if we were up to mischief or were not quite telling the truth, but then again also had a special way of softening up dad on most issues so the punishment wasn’t too bad.

• Our mother loved tea and crumpets, porridge, and potato crisps; which we were both weaned on at a very early age. Our whole family still uses her magic recipe for trifle and traditional Christmas cake, and the cardinal rule was if you don’t eat the main course, including vegetables, there would be no dessert.

• Our mother had a special way of making tears and owies go away with a Band Aid and a hug, could fix most tummy aches with cod liver oil or a candy curfew, and conducted daily room and homework inspections before any one went out to play.

• Our mother always expected us to be polite at the dinner table or among company, brush our teeth and hair and wash regularly, and speak at a minimum, especially in church. I failed miserably at most.

• Our mother always rode in the back seat of the car, but issued most of the directions about where to go and how fast. She loved cats, which were pampered more than her children, or at least that’s the way we imagined it.

• Our mother loved the beach, so we went camping to the lake each summer and on holidays to Victoria; where thank goodness she was able to enjoy her last few years near the ocean, and was also so thrilled to become a grandmother for a little while.

• Our mother loved to go to picture shows or a game of any sort, where she could sit and cheer, or visit with neighbours, as long as she had a chair with a pillow and a blanket in case it was chilly.

• Our mother both loved and adored my Dad forever, even though he wasn’t home all the time. He loved hot food, and was always polishing his Mustang or playing music, and there was never an evening when she didn’t wait up and worry until all of us were home safe.

• Our mother was humble and even shy, but she was always willing to openly share laughter, joy, tears, success, grief, and whatever was in the cupboard. She loved trees, flowers, and birds, so we always had a garden, with lots of everything green and pretty as she requested.

Now let me confess.

I wrote this column in memory of my dear mother so many years ago, but I am sharing it this week as a special tribute to all mothers, both yesterday and today. As we all know so well, each and every one of our moms have and always will be unique and amazing individuals in so many wonderful ways, but together every one of these special angels all possess the same powerful and patient ongoing love and care for their little families. Please enjoy a fabulous Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, May 13th together in your special way, and then go ahead and have a great week, all of you.

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