I can’t help but remember my mother on her birthday. I get a bit nostalgic when I pass racks of cards for Mother’s Day or Mom’s birthday. I used to plan visits to my parents’ home for her birthday. I knew that would please her and I could make a cake. My mother died some years ago.
I still think of Mom when I’m shopping. In her last few years of life, I often attempted to purchase some clothes for her. On many of my visits to see my parents, I would tend to her facial hair and eyebrows. Those things that I knew would have mattered to her in her healthier days. (The care that I hope someone will do for me if I become incapacitated.) Or I would play a few hymns on the piano and she would hum a little. I knew she missed going to church and singing. Even with her dementia we would often laugh about silly things.
More than flowers on a grave, how can I honor Mom’s memory with a positive legacy?
Forgiveness: We did not have a perfect relationship but I miss her on many days. I am learning to accept that Mom was limited in her responses to life by her own story. Some of her choices were unlike mine. Some of my youthful expectations were unreasonable. The little annoyances and hurts of the past are fading with understanding and forgiveness.
Keepsakes: I treasure little mementoes that Mom would give at Christmas or birthdays. There will be no more. She made baby clothes, dresses, and special pillows. I value her handwriting on old recipes and sometimes I make a dish. I have some of her old piano song books and sometimes I play a favorite one on my keyboard.
Philanthropy: I can contribute some money to one of the Christian radio/TV programs that she enjoyed. I can also contribute to the research for some of her health issues.
Family: Mom valued God and family. I’d like to tell her about her new great-grandchild. So some day I will share photos and stories about her with him. I stay in touch with Mom’s remaining sister, my last surviving aunt. I can get some Mom stories from my aunt, and also share our memories from my childhood. I also have sent Christmas cards to a cousin in her age group. I do genealogy research on some of Mom’s ancestors, partly for fun and to value her lineage. I am Mom’s only daughter. I can focus on keeping a strong relationship with my own daughter and daughter-in-law.
Faith: Finally, Mom believed that someday our loved ones would be reunited when Jesus returns to this earth. She introduced me to Jesus as my friend and Savior. For that I can be eternally grateful.
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