This week we wanted to bring you another special blog post about Mother’s Day. We asked our supporters and customers to send along stories about their moms, being moms, or any other influential women in their lives. We also spent some time in the classroom at our Vancouver day program speaking with the participants about their experiences. We hope you enjoy this Mother’s Day – themed post!
The first question we posed was: what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Mom”? We were surprised and delighted by the answers we received. To many, the word inspires these ideas:
Next, we wanted to know some of the ways Mother’s Day is celebrated by the people around us. Not surprisingly, the most resounding experience we heard was Breakfast in Bed! Moms recounted enjoying undercooked eggs, burnt toast and spilled orange juice feeling touched because of the eagerness and delight with which their child served it to them.
Questionable breakfasts weren’t the only thing on the list! Many moms went out and about wearing lovingly crafted handmade jewelry made of macaroni and playdough beads. One mom recounted wearing a roll of toilet paper tied to string around her neck at church! Her son wanted something functional and fashionable… “In case you need to blow your nose!” it made sense to him!
Our participants expressed gratitude for mothers who never gave up on them, even in their addiction and brokenness. They have been blessed with mothers who were continuously present, proud and loving even when it hurt. For some, their mothers did their best to always come alongside them and be supportive. For others, different women played the same role in their lives.
Here are some special memories we received:
“I remember being with the babysitter around 4 or 5, waiting for my mom to get home. I was pretending to sleep since it was late, but when my mom got home I ran to her. Rather than being upset that I wasn’t in bed, she was excited to see me! The next morning when I woke up, my mom had set up a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk and already had my cartoons turned on for me!”
“Whenever I did something that I should have gotten in trouble for, my mom was always patient and took the time to explain the situation and what was wrong about it to me. This made me feel safe and able to tell her anything.”
“My mom used to embarrass me so much! I remember her joining me in a race for Track and Field day at school. She was cheering me on so loud I was so embarrassed! But now I am grateful for her support.”
“My mom used to take me to a fancy restaurant once a month. One restaurant we went to was decorated like a jungle – this was my favourite! We would enjoy special foods together like garlic shrimp!”
“I remember going to the Island to visit my mom. On my way back waiting to get on the ferry, I checked my Facebook. She had posted about how nice it was to see me and how much she would miss me. I felt so loved I just started crying right there!”
“When I had children of my own, my mother told me that I had good instincts and that she trusted I would be a good mother if I would just trust myself. This gave me strong confidence in my ability to be a mom and not second guess the decisions that I make for my family.”
“My mom was my role-model. I always wanted to be like her: wise, gentle but firm. She always had great boundaries. When i was young, disappointing her was like the end of the world!”
“I was raised in Mexico and got typhoid fever as a child. The only hospital was an 8-10 hour drive away! My dad took me to the hospital and I had to spend three weeks there. I remember my mom coming to the hospital with special hair ribbons. She brushed my hair and put ribbons in it while I was in the hospital bed. That’s a special memory for me.”
“The first Mother’s Day present I received was a clay frame with my daughter’s picture in it. She had painted the frame yellow, because when I was teaching her colors she would always forget yellow. Once I told her that yellow was my favourite color so she would remember. Then I received yellow presents for the next fifteen years!”
One supporter is looking forward to her potentially last “weird” crafted gift. Her children have grown past the age of handmade gifts, so she is treasuring this last one as much as possible!
Mother and Child – Frederic Leighton 1865
We know that not all family relationships are pleasant, and we wanted to acknowledge those women in our lives who may not have been our mothers but still played a vital role in our growing up. For some, it was grandmothers, friends’ parents, and teachers. These women were encouraging, inspirational, and a voice of reason. They filled a gap in our lives.
For the past 20 years, one supporter has been meeting monthly for lunch with a long-distance friend’s mother. Over the years she became somewhat of a surrogate mother. She opened her mind to different opinions and experiences that she would not have received otherwise.
One of our participants has found a mentor in a female police officer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to remain a support in her life.
Teachers tend to play a great role as we age. One art teacher is remembered fondly for seeing potential and having faith in abilities and talents. When things got bad at home, this teacher would take this young woman in and spend quality time with her.
Still more told stories were told about neighbours, aunts, older siblings, and other parents. Some expressed heartache for mother’s who live far away. Holidays can be difficult for those who are unable to spend quality time with those they love.
Many of our participants have young babies, and so mother’s day began to have new meaning in their lives. They expressed excitement about being celebrated by their own children and creating their own memories.For them, this day is a celebration of being a new mother. Having a child has given them the understanding of what it really means to be a mom! Mother’s Day mean so much more to them now that they have their own children.
Little Joy by Kelley MacDonald
The greatest lesson that they have learned is that being a mother means they have a chance to raise and mold a human being. Children are a reason to do the best job they can do. They’re a great motivator to do the right thing: a reason to be better. They say that in their lives they have seen the ugliest side of humanity, and this pushes them to raise their children to be better and to always love them no matter what.
To them, being a mother is an opportunity to share their knowledge and prevent them from making the same mistakes with good guidance. They always try to put forth the effort to be a good example to make sure “their default is better than mine was”.
When asked what they’re most proud of today, they told us that being a mom makes them proud. They are thankful for their support and their sobriety, their ability to parent their children, to live their lives and follow their dreams.
And what are those dreams? To have a family. To get married. To finish school. To become a unit clerk in a hospital, to live on their own, to have a house, to work a job they like, to have more children… the list goes on!
We asked our girls how they’re going to be celebrating this year. On Sunday, as a group, they’re all going to Swiss Chalet to celebrate together! In art class they have been working on an awesome Mother’s Day gift: handmade decorative boxes with flowers planted in mason jars! They all went as a group to choose cards to include with this special gift.
All of the experiences we heard were unique and meaningful for different reasons, and we feel blessed to have been able to hear so many touching and emotional stories! Thank you to everyone who submitted their memories.
And, as always, Happy Shopping!
– Your Global Wonders Team