On Mother’s Day

We live 125 miles away from my parents, and I miss being able to visit them any time I want.

luke with nannie
My mom, hanging with Little Brother.

On Mother’s Day, especially, it hits hard.

Many of my friends on Facebook are missing their moms today. For some, it is the first Mother’s Day without their moms. Others’ moms passed away years ago. Still others suffer through conflicted relationships that make this day difficult.

TheDad and Middle Sister just left to visit his mom. She lives in assisted living now, and has dementia, and I don’t begrudge his trip to see her on Mother’s Day, because there’s going to be a Mother’s Day very soon when she doesn’t recognize her own son.

I thought maybe we’d get to drive up yesterday to see my parents, but that didn’t work out. I am grateful for one thing, though:  we were home to do a small kindness for a 13-year-old neighbor who spent yesterday at her grandparents’ home while her family kept vigil with her dying grandmother. She called our house asking if we’d pick up some flowers so she’d have a Mother’s Day gift for her mom this morning. Later, when she came home and got the flowers from our porch, we listened to this eighth-grader as she recounted the events of a very difficult day. There’s not much we can do to help, but we can do these little things, and I know that my mom would be glad that we were able to do that.

While distance keeps us apart more often than I’d like, I am very blessed. My mom is in good health. We have a great relationship. I can call her on the phone (or send an email) and talk about Middle Sister’s latest track meet, the dinner Big Brother cooked last night, and everything Little Brother has been up to lately.

This morning Little Brother gave me this rather crumpled but extremely sweet acrostic poem he wrote at school. I could say all the same things about my mom.

Mothers Day Poem

I won’t get to see her today, but we’ll talk on the phone. I can get in touch with her at any time for a recipe, encouragement, or just to chat. She’ll tell me to “get on my computer” and request a book from the library, because she just read it and knows I’d like it.

I know it bothers her tremendously that we cannot see her often, but she is very gracious about it.

On Mother’s Day, I am grateful for my mom, and for the fact that it is only the distance of 125 miles that separates us. In the scheme of things, I am so very blessed.

I love you, Mom!

Two Are Better Than One

Two Are Better Than Once (1)What do Pat Gohn and Danielle Bean have in common?

  • they’re both moms
  • they’re both Catholic, enthusiastically and unapologetically (if that isn’t a word, it should be!)
  • they’re both writers
  • they’re both media-savvy (Pat in radio and podcasting, Danielle in TV and magazines)
  • they both live “down a country lane” in New England
  • they’ve both been inspiring me as a mom, writer and user of social media for years
  • they know how to encourage women

I met Pat live and in person at last summer’s Catholic Writers’ Guild Conference. She is warm and engaging, a wonderful listener who immediately hugs you upon recognition. But before I’d even met her in person, I’d appeared on her podcast and we’d had several fun and inspiring Twitter exchanges. If you haven’t found her podcast yet, what are you waiting for?

I’ve followed Danielle Bean for close to 10 years–I found her through Franciscancards.com and looked forward to the daily blogs and stories that were posted in their daily newsletter. Danielle has since written several books; she appears on The Gist and is editor of Catholic Digest magazine. I haven’t met her in person yet but can vouch for the deliciousness of her Beer Roll recipe.

Pat Gohn’s book, Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious, was published last year. Danielle Bean’s new book Momnipotent has been out only a few weeks, and I haven’t gotten to read all of it yet. But I’ve read enough to know that these two books are perfect companion volumes.

Pat’s book deals with the “why.” Danielle’s gets into the “how.”

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift for that special woman in your life, I highly recommend this pair of books. Tie them up with a ribbon and attach a gift card for her favorite coffee shop.

There’s nothing like the gift of peace, encouragement and understanding on Mother’s Day. I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t love that.

Happy Mother’s Day!

One of the best things about Mother’s Day is the charming cards, notes, letters and crafts that young kids make in school to honor their moms. I still have quite a few of those “keepers” from the big kids, though a couple of crepe-paper flowers have disintegrated with time. But I only have one child who’s still young enough to make these in school.

With that, I bring you Little Brother’s Mother’s Day card and letter to me.

He made the card in Spanish class, and it’s the only Spanglish greeting card I’ve ever received:

!Feliz dia de las madres!
Te amo…Little Brother
Roses are red, Violets are blue,
You love me and I love you!

This was adorned not only with a cute picture, but a sticker of a white duck with the words “Right On!”

He also wrote me a letter, using his best cursive writing.  Attached to this letter (making it more than a little top-heavy) is a lily made from his cut-out handprint and a pipe cleaner.

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day! It’s been 19 years as a mom. I love you more than anything. (Except for Dad, Big Brother and Middle Sister.) You’re the best mom a kid could have. You’re the best, remember that.
Little Brother

I love how he very charmingly hedged his bets in that letter, not wanting to play favorites or anything.

Hope your Mother’s Day is a sweet one!