Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother lately. She has dementia and doesn’t remember me anymore but other than that she is healthy.

I am one of her four daughters and she and my father have been married for nearly 60 years now. They live together in a nursing home in North Dakota and my three sisters live nearby so they can visit regularly and give me updates.

My mother went to college to be a registered nurse and worked in hospitals and nursing homes most of her life. I think that’s why I’ve never been without a job. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t work.

She was a great nurse and took care of many people in the area where we lived. One of our neighbors, who she cared for in the hospital, would always come over and clear out our driveway after a snowstorm so that she could make it to work.

She didn’t have an easy life. One of the houses we lived in didn’t have indoor plumbing and every Saturday night she filled up a galvanized tin tub with water, bathed us and put curlers in our hair in preparation for church on Sunday morning. Going to church was not an option if we lived under her roof.

My mother sewed a lot of our clothes when we were small. She would buy a big bolts of fabric and make us dresses to wear for church.

When we miss behaved corporal punishment was doled out with a wooden spatula, a brush, or whatever was handy at the time. We never felt abused when we were spanked because we knew we deserved it. The threat of corporal punishment, however, did not stop us from doing stupid things that we knew we would be spanked for if we got caught.

In honor of my mother and others, I found this poem that I’m sure many of you can relate to. I don’t know who wrote this but here goes:

You Are My Heart and Soul

Thank you…

For standing by me through thick and thin

For not giving up on me when I didn’t win

For your patience when I kept pushing you away

For caring when I said I didn’t need you anyway

I am grateful knowing…

I can count on your strength

Ask for your support, and know you’ll go to any length

When I lose my way

You help me get back on track

When in pain

Your comfort soothes and brings me back

I am lucky because…

When I was sad you gave me faith and hope

When I was confused you taught me how to cope

When I felt I couldn’t go on

You carried me long miles

When I didn’t believe

You restored my smiles

Mom, thank you

For your guidance and the faith you’ve shown

For giving me a safe place where I have grown

For showing me how to strive

Because of your love

I will survive.

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