Mother’s Day has been an official U.S. holiday since 1914. It was originally started here in the U.S. by Anna Jarvis in 1908. Mother’s Day celebrations honoring mothers can be traced back to festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, by ancient Greeks and Romans. Early roots include the Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Today, the holiday usually involves presenting mothers with cards, flowers, candy and other gifts. In our “smartphone” culture many mothers are now greeted with online flowers and an e-card. Is the tradition of honoring mother now resorted to an Instagram or tweet? Maybe we could post her picture on Facebook and tag it.
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to truly honor and respect the sacred relationship we have with our mothers. She is the one, after all, who changed our diaper, cared for us when we were sick, tended to our scrapped knee and sent us to our first day of school. She has been our mentor, coach, teacher, nurse, nutritionist and cook, and best friend.
So how can we really honor her? First, with your time then with the caring eye she has always had on you. Mother’s Day sees the largest number of phone calls of the year. If you are across the country, a meaningful call is a great idea. When you talk to her, really talk to her. How is she? A lot of moms want to hear how great you and your family are doing.
Keeping a caring eye on her means reading between the lines. When on the phone, or if you are at her house, check for signs of “senior moments.” As our seniors age we expect some vision loss and hearing loss. What is a lot less obvious is the loss of judgment. Beth Bates of Care to Go suggests looking for tell-tale clues. First check the refrigerator for old left-over spoiled food. Next, check for piles of mail around the house that may indicate overdue bills. You can also inspect her grooming, is she neat and clean or could she use some assistance?
On June 2, 2014 my own mother, Skeet Bates will celebrate her 100th birthday! How poignant that she and Mother’s Day are both turning 100 together. Each day I remind myself of the loving care she showed me from birth to the present. In our hurried life it sometimes takes an extra minute or an extra thought to spend a few more minutes slowing down to a pace that she can relate to and spend that precious time with her. A few minutes can make all the difference.
On this Mother’s Day go ahead and send the flowers and cards, and also consider giving the gift of yourself. It may mean a lot more to her than the card.
• Gary Bates and his wife, Beth, are the owners of Care To Go Senior Home Care in Chandler. They have spoken across the country as well as internationally at seminars as well as TV and radio promoting the benefits of care and a healthy lifestyle.