This week I received a beautiful Mother’s Day bouquet of flowers sent from my boys. I suspect my husband had a lot to do with it. It was a very bright part of my day this week and inspired thoughts of motherhood. Two of the most important and influential women in my life have been my mother and my mother-in-law. Both are no longer here and I miss them. They each taught me many things about motherhood and I wished that I had asked more questions while they were alive. I have many wonderful memories of them both, and physical reminders of the influence they had on our family.
I won the lottery with mothers.
My mother, Nana, had Multiple Sclerosis, and as the MS progressed it required moving into assisted living accommodations to increase the care that was necessary. My siblings and I moved her on multiple occasions, and each time we each accumulated more of her belongings that she could no longer use or did not have the room for. Today, I can walk into almost any room of my house and find something that belonged to my mother or something that she made for me or for one of the boys while her hands still functioned.
She was very talented with her sewing and it is something that I wished I had shown an interest if only to have learned more about what she loved. There was a period of time that she focused on the craft of creating porcelain dolls. She poured the molds, painted the dolls and made by hand the accessories and clothes for each of them. She cooked a full meal every evening of my childhood and she always made dessert. I remember her chocolate chip cookies and I can almost smell them now just thinking about them. My sister liked to help my mother make the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and my mother joked that it always wound up being a half a batch in the end.
Porcelain Doll by MEW (Nana)
Fortunately, my sister inherited many of my mother’s wonderful talents. I need to ask her to bake me some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
My mother-in-law, known as Grandma, was also a wonderful cook. She cooked for the family as if 10 extra guests might arrive for the meal that day, and she never made a fuss if they did. She had a large vegetable garden and she taught me many things about gardening and canning. She too was gifted with a sewing talent and made many beautiful quilts. Quilts are like stories, each one has its own words and pages. Amy made each grandchild a personal quilt. Every bed in my home has a handmade quilt by my mother-in-law. Each one was made with love for the person receiving the quilt. Not only did she make quilts for the boys when they were young, but she also made them each a baby quilt to save for their own firstborn. I have these stored in boxes in a closet to give to them one day. Grandma wrote a letter to each unborn baby and she placed it in the box with the quilt. I have not read the letters and I know that the day I pass the quilt along to my new grandchild I will hear her words in my heart. She left a piece of love, made by her hands, for each great-grandchild.
Quilt made by Amy C (Grandma)
I feel very fortunate to have had both in my life. Mother’s Day is a day that I can remember them and honor the many wonderful things they taught me about motherhood.
I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to those that have gone before us and to those that carry on including my wonderful sisters, sister-in-law’s, and my many dear friends.