Ode to my Mother

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Happy Mother’s Day! . . . to you, whether you are a mother, have a mother, or carry memories of your mother in your heart.
If you are sole caregiver of your mother, Bless You!
As a daughter of a mother who through memory loss and physical disabilities is no longer the mother she used to be, I think this is a good time for reflection. I think of all the care-taking my mother did over the years. Now she needs the caregiving, and though she valiantly  fought to keep her independence, she is now slowly realizing she needs help from others. This must be very hard to accept, but she is trying.
      When we go out somewhere and I push her in her wheelchair, she’ll say,”I hate to have you do that.You don’t have to push me.”  
      I will respond, “Yes I do have to push you. Remember all the times you pushed me in the baby buggy (I’m dating myself here.) or stroller? This is pay-back.” And she’ll laugh. My mother, thankfully, still has her sense of humor.
 
What best represents my feeling about my childhood is the poem I wrote 26 years ago on my Mother’s 70th birthday.
 
Ode to My Mother

 

Memories, memories
come flooding to my mind.
Ones of my years of growing up
from toddler to a teen.
At age of one and twenty-one
and all those in-between.

 

Christmas and Santa Claus,
the Easter Bunny.
The faithful tooth fairy
who always left me money.
Birthdays and parties,
picnics at the park.
Night lights kept burning
when I was afraid of the dark.

 

Measles and chicken pox
and having to stay in bed.
Cotton and ear aches,
painting my throat red.
Brownies, Girl Scouts
loving to go to school.
Taking swim lessons,
our rubber swimming pool.

 

Wearing halloween costumes
that took a lot of time to make.
Peanut butter cookies
and devil’s food cake.
Washing dirty clothes
in the wringer machine,
Ironing my smocked dresses
so I’d look neat and clean.

 

Dancing lessons,
learning how to skate.
Typing term papers,
staying up late.
Playing with my dollhouse.
getting my first bike.
Having the dentist fill my teeth
getting haircuts I didn’t like.

 

Full skirts and petticoats
hanging on the line.
Patent shoes for dress up
that always had a shine.
Watching the Lone Ranger
on the black and white set.
Running through the sprinklers
getting sopping wet.

 

Dressing up and feeding dolls
I had quite a few.
Reading, reading, reading books
especially Nancy Drew.
Taking summer vacations
to the mountains and the sand.
Burning our bodies
so we’d look tan.

 

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa
who loved to have us there.
Looking in the attic
running up the stair.
Memories, memories
ones I hold so dear,
Memories, memories
In recalling them it’s quite clear.

 

None would have been possible
without that special one
who stood beside me,
helped to guide me
to see that things were done.
By her love and caring
she always found a way.
This very special person
is who we honor here today.

 

It was never said
but I think she always knew.
For all the years,
for all you’ve done
Mom, Thank You!
 
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