Thousands of mothers who had lost their sons originally started Mother’s Day in 1870 after the Civil War as a protest to the carnage of the war. It has carried on ever since that time as a plea for peace throughout the world, as well as order and loving care in each and every household.
My mother was a delicate angel with a calming smile and a gentle touch that could solve the biggest of problems, chase away sadness and perform simple day-to-day miracles. Even though she passed away nearly 30 years ago, I will never forget her, I glance at her photo every day, and I treasure so many fond memories of our special times together as a growing family.
*My mother was afraid of thunderstorms and mice, but when it came to protecting her little family she was the bravest lady in the world.
*My mother knew ‘how to make ends meet’, especially when we first came to Canada and didn’t have much. There was always good food on the table, warm clothes and blankets, and lots of TLC to go around.
*My 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.
*My father was fair but firm, and my mother was gracious and gentle; but together with that magic formula they kept us both in line and raised us to respect, appreciate, and enjoy what we had.
*My 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 I 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.
*My 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.
*My 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.
*My 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.
*My 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.
*My 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 anyone went out to play.
*My mother always expected us to be polite at the dinner table or among company, brush and wash regularly and speak at a minimum, especially in church. I failed miserably at most.
*My 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.
*My 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.
*My 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.
*My mother both loved and adored my Dad forever, even though he wasn’t home all the time, loved hot food, and was always polishing his Mustang or playing music. There never was an evening when she didn’t wait up and worry until all of us were home safe.
*My 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. In this column I am referring to all mothers, both past and present. Each and every one are all so unique and special in so many wonderful ways, that are cherished and enjoyed by their loving families. While we always have and will continue to pamper them every May 11 Mothers’ Day, we must cherish and remember them always. Have a great ‘spring is here’ week, all of you.