A Lifetime of Love

A hundred years from now…
It will not matter what my bank account was,
the sort of house I lived in
or the kind of car I drove.
But… the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

M-O-M. What sort of image do these three little letters conjure up for you? For me, they represent strength, love, stability and guidance. On May 14th, Mothers across the United States will be honored and thanked for their contributions by their children and loved ones. Mother’s Day is a great way to express appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made by those called Mom/Mother. But, it only occurs once a year. What about the remaining 364 days of the year? Why not make it a habit to share how you feel throughout the year instead of for just 1 day? And did you know that the ‘Mother’ role is being assumed by Grandmothers, Aunts, and even Fathers around the globe? Why not recognize these folks too?

Over the past 28 years, I have been privileged to help honor 2 additional Mother figures along with my own Mom on Mother’s Day. These ladies have included my husband’s biological Mother and his Great Aunt Rose. All three of these women helped to shape who my husband (or I) have grown up to be. I have also witnessed the incredible bond my sister shares with her two daughters and know without a doubt that she would sacrifice her own life for them if necessary. In addition, throughout my career I have frequently been in awe of the devotion and concern Mothers, Grandmothers (and even Mother ‘figures’) continue to have for their children even into their elder years. The love of children seems to surpass the difficulties of memory loss too. In fact, it is not unusual for individual children or groups of children to visit nursing homes and memory care facilities to uplift and inspire residents. These visits are even more inspiring when family members are involved.

Many grandparents are assuming complete care for their grandchildren. According to http://www.pbs.org, 2.7 million grandparents are actually raising their grandchildren. This number has increased 7 % since 2009. Many more grandparents provide care for their grandchildren part-time too. They can frequently be seen with grandchildren in tow, out shopping or running errands. Having already raised their own children, these grandparents are willing to help with the raising of their grandchildren, too, out of love.

Familial parental love. A bond so strong it is difficult to put into words what it means. A bond so strong it is mistakenly believed by many to be a ‘given’ and thus not need to be openly expressed. Express it anyway. Express it often and in many ways. Demonstrate it with hugs, smiles and I love you’s. Offer assistance with everyday tasks or just drop by to say ‘hello’. And don’t forget to express it with a thoughtful card and/or gift on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers and Mother ‘figures’ everywhere. A heartfelt thank-you for all that you do!

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