Mothers nurture, guide, guard and support. They hold our hands when we toddle, our hair when we throw up, our hearts forever. They endure our teenage angst the times we say, “I-hate-you,” and they stay up late to launder a needed baseball uniform or sew a choir dress.
And on Mother's Day, which is Sunday, they are rewarded with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers clutched in pudgy fingers or macaroni crafts that are treasured for decades. For, you see, mothers are notoriously easy to please.
Making a memory
For Leo-Cedarville resident Diana Ream, Mother's Day rarely occurs on the second Sunday in May — the traditional date. Ream's son, Tom, is pastor of First United Methodist Church in Marion, and “a pastor's holidays are already overbooked,” she says.
Daughter Amy Brennan and her family live in a small German village, where she and her husband, Paul, teach students of military families. Personal visits are rare, so Ream and her husband Jerry are thankful for phones and Skype.
“We just try to make memories count whenever we can be together,” Ream explains. “For instance, last summer, we had a group picture session at a studio. With 13 of us to photograph, a miracle occurred! All seven of the little girls looked at the camera at just the right time, and that photo has frozen in time the rare occasion of all of us in the same place at the same time. That was my perfect Mother's Day.”
A family portrait is a thoughtful and lasting gift for mom — especially when accompanied by a journal from her children and grandchildren or a personalized video or DVD of the family recounting their favorite Mom stories.
In the era of email and texting, a handwritten note expressing love and appreciation is becoming a rare and precious gift. A personalized poem, framed photograph or calendar displaying favorite family photos can help preserve special memories.
Lori and Andy Gemmer welcomed Evan Andrew into the world on Jan. 25, and she will soon celebrate her first Mother's Day.
“Mother's Day has usually centered around my grandma,” Gemmer explains, describing a full day of visiting and family gatherings in Fort Wayne and Kokomo. “If Andy has something special planned, it will probably have to be on a different day.”
Gemmer admits the perfect Mother's Day “would be a simple day with no responsibilities, lots of needed sleep, no cooking, no housework, no grading or planning for school, and more time with just Evan and Andy.”
Gemmer's desire for simplicity and a day off is common to many moms. A relaxed atmosphere with loved ones, a meal prepared by someone else, or time to garden, knit or indulge in a bubble bath without interruption all sound heavenly.
Themed gifts baskets with coffees, candles, gourmet chocolates or bubble bath, accompanied by coupons for back rubs, carwashes or movie nights provide the promise of future pleasures. Gift certificates for a spa, concert or even a thorough house cleaning extend Mom's enjoyment of her day for weeks to come.
Peggy Klein is mom to 10 children ranging in age from 9 to 28. With five grandchildren (and two more on the way), she says Mother's Day was uneventful, but busy — a family gathering with food, fun and lots of kids.
“We always started the day with Mass,” she says. “John and the kids would cook breakfast at home. The kids would give me gifts of homemade cards and spring annual (plant) starters.”
With six of the Klein clan now married or living on their own, the couple still tries to get the family together, if just for a picnic at the state park.
“It seems Mother's Day has become multigenerational,” she muses. “I now look at my own daughters and admire the mothers they have become.”
Use your imagination
Though our mothers all stress the pure joy of just being with family, it never hurts to surprise mom with something original or creative to emphasize how much you appreciate her. In addition to the typical cards, flowers, candy or gifts, try these ideas:
•Subscription to a new or favorite magazine
•Classic chick flick or three-month subscription to Netflix
•Tickets for her favorite performers or team, such as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Civic Theatre, Embassy Theatre, or Fort Wayne Komets or TinCaps
•Birdfeeder, seeds and bird book
•Personalized recipe book
•Full gas tank and gas cards to keep it full
•Weekend camping/kayaking/skiing/fishing trip if she is outdoorsy; a stay in a bed and breakfast if she's not
•Piano, guitar or dance lessons
•Ceramic teacup planter filled with exotic teas
•Terrarium or windowsill herb garden
Don't take mom for granted. Cherish and celebrate the one who gave you life. (And don't expect her to cook.)