Sunday 8 May 2011

Mother's Day - Louise's perspective

I understand Ken’s dilemma regarding Mother’s Day gifts for me but I am of the opinion that I am not his mother and so he is not obligated to get me anything on this one day of the year – the rest of the days are fine and dandy for any gift whatsoever, but Mother’s Day is for kids to get in touch with their mothers. Getting in touch is the gift really – an email from a child far away, a call from another one and a quick drop-in all have tremendous meaning to me. A promise for breakfast when back in town, money for a pedicure and a framed saying “In my life, I love you more” are bonuses to those brief but important times of being in touch.

My mother, Lena, is 94 and I called her on Saturday, since I need to get someone on staff at the nursing home to answer the phone for her and I imagined they would be pretty busy on Mother’s Day. I had sent her a gift – nothing too much – some cotton socks, hand lotion – she goes through lotion like water – and some Werthers. I also included some pics of Ken and me in Hawaii. I sent her flowers for her birthday in March but thought it would be nice for her to have something to open. I asked about the parcel. She said someone had sent her candy. I told her it was me. She said she didn’t know who sent her the candy. I mentioned one more time that it was me. She said she wasn’t sure about the candy and so I changed the subject.

The rest of the conversation always starts out the same, me explaining to her that I’m Louise, her daughter from Calgary. Sometimes she remembers I have kids, sometimes she doesn’t. Saturday she couldn’t really seem to grasp the fact that I had children. She’s 94 – I don’t make a big deal about it because it isn’t a big deal. It's like when I told her Ken and I were heading to Hawaii. She told me this wonderful story about when her and her husband (my Dad), were there and she sat on the beach while her husband swam. People brought them food on the beach and they had a wonderful time. This is a Wonderful memory but they were never to Hawaii in this lifetime. Remembering what didn't happen or forgetting what did, it's all relative and whatever good memories she has, are good memories to have.

This time she didn’t remember her trips out west when she would go on the bus with the kids, and sometimes a friend or two of theirs, and go downtown, lunch at the Bay, watching the kids playing in the water at Olympic plaza and just giving the opportunity to spend time with Grandma. The kids and I remember and that’s really what’s important. She always asks what does my husband do and when I remind her that Ken is retired, she wants to know what he does all day. I mention the carving and wood turning and then mention he does get a pension. Knowing that he has money coming in makes her feel better that he’s not working. She taught me that everyone should be treated equally and that no matter what words are spoken or left unsaid, a mother’s love is unconditional and everlasting. I ended the call the way I always do, “I love you Mom.” And her reply was the same as it always is, “I love you too.”

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