What words come to mind when you remember mom? Funny, loving, hard-working, and soft-hearted are some that come to mind when I reminisce about my mom, who passed away three days into Y2K. We haven’t celebrated her on Mother’s Day for over 20 years. So this year, I wanted to change that fact. Maybe you’ve lost your mom or grandma as well. She might have passed away, is suffering from dementia, lives far away, or is in an inaccessible situation.
Whatever keeps her from being near you doesn’t need to stop you from honoring and celebrating your dear one this year. We’ll chat about five mother’s day remembrances to celebrate our moms who aren’t with us in this quick post.
If this is your first mother’s day without mom, I am so sorry and pray that even though this holiday (along with the other milestones of the year) will be hard, it will also be sweet with rich memories of mom.
#1 Way to Remember Mom – Her Photos and Stories
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Pull out those photos! The process of hunting them down will touch your heart. (Even if you’re really organized and can walk into the room where the labeled albums are, and she’s right there!) Spread the photos around you or on the table and spend some time reminiscing. Walk around in the memories. Jot some things down in your journal that come to mind (who knows how long your memory will work this well!) And, when it’s time to put the photos back, put them in that one spot together so when you celebrate Mom next year they’ll be right there.
If you have siblings who can help with memories and family stories, give them a call and spend some time talking about the good ol’ days with Mom. I’m fortunate to have a sister who has been collecting stories and genealogy information for years and recording them on a family website.
Take advantage of the multiple brains and memory collectors with siblings, and check-in with your dad if he is still around. Schedule a conference phone call or better yet…jump on Zoom with your sibs. You could record your conversation to be transcribed later or save it just as it is. You’ll be glad you did, and the nieces, nephews, and grandkids will too.
You might want to focus on fun memories, but don’t forget those that help you remember her character and influence on your family and the community.
#2 Way to Remember Mom – Cook Her Favorite Recipe
When I start cooking the celery and onions for the Thanksgiving stuffing, I’m right back in the family kitchen of 60 years ago! If our goal is to celebrate and remember her so intensely that it seems like she’s here, then creating smells and recipes in our kitchen will go a long way toward that goal.
I have a friend Rebecca who asked for and was given her grandma’s favorite recipes. Hand-written recipes are a treasure in themselves but cooking the meal or the special dessert will trigger memories of that sweet face and maybe even time spent in her kitchen.
I have a collection of my mom’s recipes and one of her cookbooks. Her homemade noodle recipe along with the chicken stewing in the pot puts me in my happy place! Here’s a link to a post about vintage cookies (the best ever!) Many are Christmas-type cookies but most can be made anytime.
#3 Way to Remember Mom – Her Jewelry
Do you have some of Mom’s jewelry? Do you ever wear it or just take it out to admire and reminisce every so often? This could be another way to celebrate your mom or grandma. Some friends have used old pieces of jewelry to create a new necklace or pin; adding years and new stories to old.
Maybe your mom gave you a gift of jewelry at some point. This Mother’s Day is the day to wear those earrings or necklaces!
My friend Debbie shared this about her mom, who also suffered from Alzheimer’s as my mom did.
The last gift she bought for me was a simple pair of gold earrings. She told me that she thought they were perfect teacher earrings and that she couldn’t be more proud of what a wonderful teacher I’d become.She went to heaven in 2012. Anytime there is a special day or special family moment I wish she could’ve shared, I wear those earrings. It’s my way to intentionally remember and include her. An example is that I wore them on every first day of school & they reminded me of the confidence she had in me.~Debbie Burns (Christian Grandma’s Chat – Facebook)
#4 Way to Remember Mom – Her Books, Bibles, and Music
We have a stack of books (besides the cookbooks) that my mom owned (and a couple of Dad’s Louis L’Amours). Having gone through the purging and pruning of our memories when we prepped for the Texadus back in 2018, we know how hard it is to decide which things to keep and which to let go of. There is a copy of Dr. Spock’s child-raising text and several Christian/faith books. I love them all!
Mom’s music was such a part of her life. I have the tote she used to keep it in, as well as a lot that was stored in her piano bench. The piano now lives at our son Kyle’s house. We might need to pull out some old sheet music and ask him to play for us. Rick’s mom Jean also played piano, and we have several of the songs she used to play.
We recently purged several boxes of LPs and purchased a portable record player to enjoy tunes from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. Music was such a part of our mother’s lives…pianos, saxophones, accordions, and organs created hours of enjoyment for the Rowland and Owens families.
One of the greatest treasures I now own is my mom’s Bible! The notes in the margins are priceless and the scraps of paper with written prayer requests are a huge blessing. Her notes of how she communicated with the Lord encourage my faith and relationship with Him.
#5 Way to Remember Mom – Write her a Note or a Poem
The last way I’m going to suggest for you to remember your mom is to set aside a little time to consider what you would say to her this Mother’s Day if she were sitting across the table from you having a cup of coffee or tea and sharing a homemade cookie. If you have them, bring out her teacups, coffee mugs, or special dishes to use for this activity.
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Then, after the Dear Mom start writing. Tell her the news, tell her how much you miss her, tell her about the good deal you found at Macy’s or Goodwill or a garage sale. Tell her your heart, your fears, your joys, your hopes…all that’s in there that hasn’t been able to go directly to her ears. When you’re done, reread it. Then, put it in an envelope and a safe place to be ready to bring out next year or her birthday or Christmas. It also might be fun and very meaningful to take some time to pick out the perfect Mother’s Day card for her.
Know that all those things you wrote can also be shared with the Lord. He loves hearing about all of it! Even the good deals! See Psalms 37:23: “He delights in every detail of their lives.” I love that thought!
If you do want to write a letter, here’s some pretty stationery you can print for free.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Hopefully, taking action with one or more of these Mother’s Day remembrances here has brightened and strengthened your memories of mom. Share them with your sibs and grandkids to bless and enrich their lives.
Dear sweet daughter who is living without your mom; bless you. You’re doing great, and she would be so proud of you! Think about how much you loved her, how much she loved you, and enjoy this Mother’s Day in a new and deeper way as you Remember Mom. ❤️
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.