I had my first reminder the other day at CVS when I saw the Mother’s Day card section. It hit me that after making or buying cards for my mother, this would be the first time in probably 45 years that I won’t be able to do this for her.
There have been moments this past year that I’ve wished I could ask her a question. Either about one of her treasures and how it came to be in her possession, or how to make her rice pudding, or why she loved birds so much? We get busy and we think we’ll always have tomorrow to ask her. In my case, I don’t have tomorrow.
Several years ago I read an article in Oprah magazine. Oprah’s friend, Gail King, was at a dinner party and someone asked Gail if her children knew things about Gail’s mother who had died a few years previously. Becoming defensive Gail told her acquaintence that of course her children were very familiar with her mother, knew all about her. After she got home from the party she tested her theory on her kids asking them things like, “what was Grammy’s favorite color” or “what was Grammy’s favorite food.” When her kids told her they had no idea, Gail was devastated. Did her kids really not have any memories of their Grammy?
After I read this it really struck me. Miss Bee, I think, at the time was around five. I made a point from that day forward to teach her all about Grandmother. Now as a teen the only time I have with Miss Bee is really while she’s with me driving in the car. So I try to make the most of our commuting with stories about her Grandmother or about me. Something I am doing for Miss Bee this Mother’s Day is to write her a list, in my handwriting, of all the reasons why I love her. It will be a thank you note to her for giving me the joy of being a Mother. Her mother. Hopefully, she will grow old with children of her own but if something were to happen to me, she will have this love note from me.
So this year, instead of searching for a tangible gift to buy, give your mom a journal with questions you want answered. What are things you want to know that no one will have the answer to if your mom leaves you. After all, Mothers are the keeper of all the family history and secrets. She’s the one who knows who was born where and when. She’s the glue that keeps the family together. If she’s not able to write the answers, then set up a time where you can “interview” her. You pretend you are Barbara Walters and write down her responses — better yet, record her voice on your iPhone. I wish I could hear Earnie say one more time, “Hello, Precious.”
To help you get started, here are 10 Questions to Ask Your Mother Now from Real Simple magazine.
Now, go kiss your mother.