Mothers Day is tomorrow, and the newspaper is full of ads for gift ideas ("Get a manicure, and your mom gets one free!"), and for expensive brunch buffets. When I was little Grandma would take us girls out the week before Mothers Day and we'd select something that she would pay for, a milk glass candy dish, a pretty blouse, a young flowering crabapple tree. Sometimes we'd make cards at school and present them to Mom. There would be a Sunday dinner, and a carnation corsage.
Mothers Day these days leaves me feeling a little strange, not unhappy exactly, but perhaps excluded. I never became a mother, and my mom is gone. So are all my grandmothers, and most of the older women who behaved in motherly ways toward me when I was growing up. There was my English pen pal, whom I called my English mum, and who died days before my own mother. There was my sweet mother-in-law, who died a couple years after we were married, and my high school girlfriend's mother, and older teachers who looked after me when I was new. All gone now, and I miss them all very much.
These pictures are of my mother, Carol Ann Pierce. She was the younger of two daughters, a girl who grew up during the Depression. She married her high school sweetheart, and stayed married until Dad's death in 1983. She had four children, of whom I am the oldest. She might have been an artist if she hadn't dropped out of art school to marry, but she nurtured creativity in each of us, and she used her own skills to sew, knit, and decorate at holidays for us her entire life. She adored her grandbabies, and she spoiled them as best she could after poor health robbed her of her ability to get about physically and to drive. She kept her friends close until her death in 2004, and I knew when they showed up at her wake to mourn and tell stories that their lives would be poorer when she was gone, as mine still is. So this is my Mothers Day gift this year. Happy Mothers Day, Mom. You're still remembered and loved.