Mother’s Day is a big day in senior communities as families visit for special meals, flowers and gifts, and special time with mom to celebrate who she is and appreciate her while she’s alive.
Celebrations will be muted this year following the horror of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit senior communities with a ferocity that was entirely unplanned for, and which caused the senior care industry to have the most Covid-19 deaths of any industry.
After a year of extended periods of time that closed community restaurants, seeing seniors and their families enjoying a special meal will be a welcome sight to all the wonderful people in charge of their care and wellbeing.
Sadly there will be many missing mothers to remember and mourn.
The senior living community are mostly women, since women tend to live longer than men, and the caregivers, nurses, and other senior community roles are also heavily occupied by women.
It cannot me missed that the industry that suffered so greatly is mostly staffed by women, for women.
The number of dead are staggering and in fact undercounted due to the fact that seniors who survived Covid-19, may pass shortly thereafter, their bodies and immune systems depleted and unable to withstand other new and old sicknesses and ailments.
Those deaths aren’t counted as Covid-19 deaths but rest assured, Covid-19 was the cause, however indirect.
This is will also be a Mother’s Day that will be mourned by those who lost young mothers to the pandemic. Families will mourn their lost mothers who were unable to get treatment or a ventilator or even make it and be accepted into emergency rooms that were turning people away due to lack of ventilators and or available beds.
We should mourn the loss of mothers who died in custody at the border, after being placed in inhumane conditions and subjected various forms of abuse at the hands of those in charge of their care.
We mourn the loss of Black mothers who passed away during child birth, and Black mothers and all mothers who passed away at the hands of police, their partners, their ex-partners, and by strangers. We pause for them because they endure a society that focuses most of its violence on women.
BRINGERS OF LIFE
Mother’s Day is a time to honor all the bringers of life, the teachers, the caregivers, and the disciplinarians we call mamma, mom, mommy, and mother.
The mothers who birthed us, those who adopted us, those who accepted us when we joined their families. The families with two mothers. The step-mothers and the adoption mothers.
The mother who love our limits and push our abilities far beyond what we thought we could do and could be.
The mothers we tried to make proud because her approval and her joy is unmatched in our hearts.
The mothers who can crush us just by shaking their head while showing their displeasure. And the mothers we call first when we accomplish small and large things because their approval and celebration of us is the same no matter what the size of our accomplishment.
Our mother, our grandmother, our aunt-who-is-our-surrogate-mother, our neighborly mother, our friend’s mother, and that special someone who, regardless of their place on the gender spectrum, mothers us because that is who they are.
The mothers who we know are special – not because they gave birth to us, but because they give us life. The mothers who though they may not have given birth – through choice or circumstance, are still mothers because we know the life they breathe into us sustains us and gives us guidance, joy, and comfort.
We love all the mothers for who they are. And despite a world in constant trouble because of the men and fathers, we hold on to the evolutionary understanding that caused our ancestors to call the earth – Mother as the first diety. A loving, nurturing, and sustaining diety.
They didn’t call earth father. The Mother wasn’t vengeful, have a hell, or issued random punishments and judgements.
The earth-mother birthed us, fed and protected us, and welcomed us back when our lives ended.
Out of the mother we came
our mother’s breast
into the mother we go
when her bounty
no longer sustains us.
And to those who, like me, have lost your mother, may your memories be joyful as you recall your mother’s hugs, her smiles, her meals, her fussing, her clothing, her tears, and the smell of her hair.
May your memories of your mother be forever clear. A final gift from her that rests in your heart and plays in your soul.
If you have your mother – or the person who fills in as your mother – give them their love while they are here. If you are able, hug them. If you cannot hug them, call them and let them talk. Let them repeat themselves and tell you things that at the moment doesn’t seem important.
Let them laugh, cry, complain, or admonish. Let them be distracted and let them remind you of embarrassing things. It is a brief moment in time that can last forever in your heart because it will be those moments that your memories will surface at the oddest times and you know what?
When those memories surface you’ll smile, laugh, or share a story with a family member or friend. And in that small way, she will be alive again and you’ll think anew about the joy she brought you.
Thinking about mothers on Mother’s Day.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends. Website | Bookshop | Twitter
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