I was feeling pretty good about my plans for Mother’s Day. I knew both of my out-of-town kids would contact me and my day would be full—church, lunch out, piano concert. But an article I read about how women honored the memory of their mothers on Mother’s Day started to bug me. Those women had cozy domestic memories they celebrated by replicating on this special day.
How would my kids honor me on Mother’s Day after I’m gone?
It would not be for my fabulous chicken dish—my husband cooks, my lovely roses—I’ve never gardened, my sewing creations—my sewing era ended when my kids entered grade school, my crocheted afghans like my mother-in-law’s—I’ve never done handwork, my canned peaches—I’ve never canned a pint of anything, and the list goes on and on.
My own mother puts my domesticity to shame—all the cooking, cleaning, baking, canning, sewing, and entertaining she documented in her diaries is enough to make my domestic self-esteem plummet.
As I was lamenting that I had virtually no domestic habits, my oldest, almost-college-graduate, granddaughter called. I told her of my dilemma and asked, “How will you remember me when I’m gone?”
With no hesitation she said, “Silly hats, overalls, and bibs.” And she laughed.
I would have hugged her if she weren’t many miles away. That’s exactly what I’d like to be remembered for. My fun quirky side. When I’d visit my older grandkids when were little, I’d sit at the table and place all manner of things on my head. They’d giggle as I’d try to balance paper plates, homemade creations, or you name it on my head.
When they were older (and I was too), I wore non-age appropriate “overalls” (bib jeans and shorts) and happily felt like a kid. I remembered when I retired at 58 from teaching nursing and one of my students had said, “They are so you, Dr. Roelofs.”
And now I wear bibs. Not all the time, of course. But with memories of older ladies with stains on their polyester blouses, I wear a bib if I’m eating in a chair. When I teen-sat my older three grandchildren a few years ago, they served me dinner on the couch (as my husband often does). I requested a bib and I was brought a dish towel. Stains on my white cotton Eddie Bauer shirt I do not want to have. It would mean I was really getting old, a fact I’m not yet ready to consider.
So all was good after all. At least one of my family would remember me, not for my lack of domesticity, but for my idiosyncrasies that translate into fun.
How do you think you will be honored on Mother’s Day after you’re gone?