Through the years, I have come to understand that Mother’s Day, oftentimes, encompasses a myriad of emotions. The dichotomy of immense joy coupled with unbelievable sadness and grief. It is a sacred space where mere words struggle to fill the void and can serve as a reminder of unfathomable anguish and represent immeasurable heartache.
For those who have lost their mothers and miss them terribly.
For those who desperately desire to have a child of their own and yet it is a longing unfulfilled.
For those who have lost children and deeply grieve their absence.
For those who are suffering with the pain of an abortion and the emotional weight seems unbearable.
For those single moms who are carry the burden and exhaustion of filling the role of both parents.
For those whose mothers may be battling illness and aging and the gravity of grief that lays upon your heart.
Know this truth – amid the sadness and sorrow, the Lord God, El Roi, is the God who sees you. He profoundly holds your brokenness. He bears your sorrow so lovingly and values your grief so deeply that he keeps track of your heartache and collects each of your tears.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”– Psalm 56:8
Today, know that El Roi, the God who sees, sees you. He sees you caring for your aging mother. He sees you graciously serve her, pour yourself out for her and place her needs above your own. He sees you when you are alone and weeping because of the grief your heart is bearing. He sees you laugh with her as you reminisce about moments and memories of the past. The God of the universe sees you through it all.
Caring for your aging mother is probably one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs. And a phenomenal opportunity to celebrate your sweet mom is during the sacred space and profound place of Mother’s Day. Whether you are her caretaker or if she is residing at an assisted living facility, you can honor her in many fun and creative ways. If you are your mom’s caretaker, it is vitally important that you, too, are not only celebrated but receive a day of rest as well. Perhaps dedicate a combined Mother’s Day with your mom on one day and then have your special day on a different one. One where you can have some time for yourself. Ideas might include a spa day (massage, facial, manicure or pedicure), attending a baking class, sitting in a park and reading a book, going to lunch or a movie with a friend or even by yourself. The key is to do that which would fill up your emotional tank.
Ideas About Ways To Celebrate
While flowers, balloons, chocolates and cards are traditional favorites, here are a few other ideas about how to expand on the celebration.
Mother’s Day Parade: This one is specific to an assisted living facility and might take a little extra effort and coordination with the residency; however, it will be completely worth it. Gather all the mothers together and have seating for them in the front of the facility. Music can be playing joyfully in the background from something as small as a portable speaker or as elaborate as a disc jockey. Family members decorate their cars, like a parade, with balloons, streamer and posters with Happy Mother’s Day wishes strewn on them. Family members drive their cars by the group of mothers, waving, smiling and greeting their moms wishing each of them ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.
Picnic: Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a picnic. This can be done at an assisted living facility, park or other location. A picnic can feel reminiscent of days gone by and thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family. Bring a blanket and spread it out on the lawn, floor or table. Purchase a lovely picnic basket at any discounted department store and fill it with an array of items from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to an elegant charcuterie tray. Be completely creative with what they might discover inside their basket. Perhaps add to the fun by playing music in the background on your phone or a portable speaker from the 40s, 50s or 60s to add to the environment.
Brunch: What a lovely and elegant way to celebrate your mom. Locally, there will be a vast array of possible locations for this meal or better yet, host it in your own home. The menu can be catered or if you prefer, make her eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit or whatever her favorites might be. Be certain to have a lovely table setting complete with flowers bright spring colors.
Thankful Jar: I have a sign in my home that says, “There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for.” What you need for this is a glass container or something similar, markers or pens and small (1 x 2) cards (either purchased in a pack from a hobby store or cut personally). Have your family sit with your mom and write on the cards all the things for which you are grateful and place them in the jar for her to keep. For those family members who are unable to be with you in person, send them some of the cards and have them write on the cards and send them back to you to place in the jar. Be certain to write your name on the back of the card so your mom knows exactly who has written the sentiment. This attitude of gratitude can continue year long as family members both far and wide as well as your mom, continue to fill the jar with their many blessings.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”– Philippians 4:8
Cards: While this idea seems simple, perhaps elaborate a little bit. Have each member of your family send a card, note or drawn picture and pace the mailing times so your mom receives a card each day leading up to Mother’s Day and possibly beyond.
Digital Photo Frame: These frames are a wonderful way for the entire family to share photos with your mom. Whether geographically near or far, photo sharing allows you to upload pictures to the frame remotely.
Celebrating your mom is such a gift. However, it is equally important to be mindful to also celebrate you – to rest and recharge yourself for what it so come. Far too often, we neglect to care for ourselves properly because we might have a misguided notion that resting might be slothful, when in reality, the Creator of the Universe modeled this exact thing…rest.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”– Genesis 2:2
If God, the creator of the Universe rested, we should be mindful to follow his lead and, also choose to rest from the many strenuous tasks we embark upon. Remind yourself, it is not a demonstration of weakness, but rather wisdom, as we follow our Lord’s example in a balance between work and resting.
For an extensive list of ideas about how to celebrate your mom, please see my article “Elderly – Staying Connected”