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Celebrating Mother's Day

With the approach of Mother’s Day, the emptinesses that were once filled with very special people ache more acutely. This year, my very own reflection helped me to replace that ache with love and tenderness. Occasionally my reflection catches me unaware with the overwhelming recognition of other dear faces now absent from my daily life. Last night as I prepared for bed, gazing into the mirror I was taken aback as I saw both my own Mom and Errol gazing back at me. As I looked, loving tears blurred the vision, smudging reality and enhancing the imagined faces that blended and morphed from one to the other – so close and so present - both very much alive and reflected in me.

My pre-sleep musings were delightfully cluttered with memories that, like my reflection blended and intertwined, displaying the perfect spirals of life, love, tradition, and family. My dreamscape replayed scenes from my youth which slipped seamlessly into remembrances from more recent years:

Snuggling next to Mom in church, my chubby little hand stroking Mom’s graceful, manicured one, drawing paths around the perfect, pink-lacquered arcs of her nails in drowsy awe. The scene shifts and I am in church with my own beautiful boys, one nestled asleep in my arms while the other presses as close as he can against me, his chubby fingers tugging and kneading my ear lobes.

In the warmth of our farm-house with the winter raging outside, I sit with Mom at the kitchen table pouring glitter over the glue daubed pinecones we had thoughtfully collected the previous summer to decorate our silver tinsel Christmas tree. The scene blurs and reforms. Pipe cleaner stick men replace pinecones and the glue-goopy fingers are my sons as we place their carefully cut-out faces onto the stick men that will become Father’s Day gifts for their Dad.

Mom and I girl-talk as we amble about the campsite trails day after day on our idyllic summer holiday – Mom and teen-aged daughter taking time for ourselves away from the bustle of summer farm life to bond and blossom amid the stream of shared stories, anxieties, and concerns. The campsite trail morphs into the “Big Rock” historical site – the target of mocking jests from myself, Errol, and Dylan alike as we laughed at our disappointment in the destination of our summer road trip, but the journey truly was the treasure. With Errol driving, Espresso bouncing between all three of us to bestow kisses and affection equally, stopping in Wilkie for treats to share on the ride home, we made it a road trip we remember fondly. Not because the location was memorable, but because, by sharing our selves, we painted a beautiful family memory together.

I am a flour-dusted imp, eyes sparkling with excitement, cheeks and nose painted with sampled dough and frosting as I ‘help’ Mom bake a multitude of delectables. Rosettes, doughnuts, shortbread (my favourite), jam-jams, and more all rolled out of the kitchen in a cloud of warm, sugar-scented memories. My own efforts always lacked Mom’s graceful ease but the little sweet-stained faces alight with delicious pleasure and love made it clear, the product of our efforts wasn’t a fraction as important as the bonds and memories we made along the way.

Mom left little gems of herself in all of her offspring – memories, traits, and traditions that we carry forward to share with our own children, grandchildren and beyond. Among other things, I see Mom’s nurturing spirit in Carol. I see her shy nobility in Larry. I see her adventurousness in Lyle which Rose-Marie carries on still. I see the close-knit family ties that Mom cultivated which Karen has instilled in her own family. For myself, I carry Mom’s creativity and share it even now.

Mom gave me a glowing example of Motherhood to follow, and I am proud to carry that torch well. I have raised 2 glorious sons to adulthood and set them both free to share what I bestowed. This year Errol celebrates Mother’s Day with his Gramma and I feel their love wrapped tightly around me as I celebrate with Craig, Dylan, and Espresso. I have so much to be thankful for this Mother’s Day and will celebrate with a glad heart for every single memory gift.

I have to add a little Post Script – I wrote this blog entry yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and this morning my amazing family surprised me with (drum roll please) a sewing machine! I know my siblings are chuckle/groaning. Mom was an amazing seamstress (much to my next youngest sister’s chagrin because she got to – read had to – wear hand-made matching outfits with her little sister <wicked grin>). I know, as I clumsily learn the ropes on my new machine that Mom will be nearby, trying not to cringe 😉.

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