Preparing for a one-of-a-kind Mother's Day

The list of canceled events at times overwhelms me with sadness.

When the state lockdown began on my birthday, it wasn't too difficult to shrug it off.

"We'll celebrate later," we said.

Then there was my father-in-law's 91st birthday in April.

"How lucky we had that great party for his 90th last year," we observed.

Then came Easter.

"Thank God for Zoom church services," we prayed in thanksgiving.

Then the scheduled Indian Princess campout - the one that would have been Ainsley's last.

"Maybe they'll let this year's fifth-graders have their final campout in the fall," we hoped.

Then the string of choir, band and orchestra concerts that did not take place in late April. And the school musical - Ainsley had a solo - which would have taken place last night and tonight.

Lifelong Cubs fans, we repeated the popular refrain.

"Wait 'til next year."

Now we're approaching Mother's Day. And I've run out of one-liners to make myself feel better.

My mom lives in an assisted living facility, so we can't see her this Mother's Day. We'll drive there Saturday to drop off a card and treats and wave up at her second-floor window from the parking lot.

But there will be no hugs or kisses. No blowing out candles on the peach and amaretto cheesecake that always commemorates my mom's May 13 birthday.

I won't lie. I haven't always been particularly close with my mom. Like many mother-daughter relationships, ours has been a complicated one.

Things had been rough for many years until 2018, when her sweetheart ended up in the hospital with a heart condition and she moved in with us for three weeks. Those weeks were exceptionally difficult, especially as we came to realize how far her Alzheimer's had progressed. She and I had lived very separate lives, but the time she spent with us sparked a new connection, and our relationship has been much stronger ever since.

Now, when we are on more solid footing than we have been for decades, we can't gather to celebrate Mother's Day and her birthday. Given her health and concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, I worry we might not have another Mother's Day to spend together.

I know Sunday will still be a special day. We'll enjoy Music Sunday at church on Zoom. Dan will pick up one of the special carry-out Mom's Day dinners from a restaurant in town, so I won't have to cook. I'll have time to walk with my neighbor (staying a safe distance apart, of course), read a book, work in the yard and finally find out who won the "Spring Baking Championship."

But I'd trade that in a heartbeat for a regular Mother's Day, no matter how much rushing and cooking and cleaning up it involves.

So I will try to heed the words Melody Beattie's May 4 meditation in "Journey to the Heart." It's titled "Cherish Each Moment."

"All the moments count," she wrote. "The quiet moments. The moments of boredom and solitude. The moments of sharing. The exciting moments of discovery. The moments of grandeur. The agonizing moments when we feel sad, angry or upset. Each moment in time is equally important."

Whatever moments we experience on Mother's Day, I hope we can all find the grace to cherish them.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean