Tag Archives: mother’s day

Two Lessons From Mom

This morning I will give a short talk via Zoom to the members of a church where I have spoken on several occasions in the past. Since it is Mother’s Day I thought I would share two lessons I learned from my mother that are helping me during the current pandemic.

Mom with three of her grandchildren. She provided so much hands-on support and unconditional love as her grandchildren were growing up. 

My Mom was a person who reached out to help others in a myriad of ways. She was a dedicated volunteer in her church and community, a loyal friend, and a mother and grandmother with a listening ear. She was ready to provide hands-on support whenever we needed it. Mom was a caring presence in the life of extended family members and someone who always had a warm greeting for the people she met. My Mom’s life was not always easy. She faced many challenges but I remember her as someone who was almost always positive and cheerful.

During our current uncertain situation Mom’s example of reaching out to others and trying to remain positive inspire me to do the same.

At a family Christmas gathering, Mom plays the piano and my grandmother sings

Mom also managed to find time to use and enjoy her creative gifts. She was a fabulous pianist and one of my childhood memories is of Mom sitting at the piano on Sunday afternoons playing all kinds of classical and popular music mostly from memory. There were times in her life when the workload she carried was huge but she still made time for her music. She used her musical gifts in all kinds of ways. When Mom was dying she imagined the linens on her hospital bed as a kind of keyboard. She’d determine a spot for middle C and then her fingers would fly across the blankets playing her favorite pieces. 

During our current uncertain situation, Mom’s example of finding the time to be creative inspires me to continue to nurture my inner spirit by fostering my creativity in whatever way I can. 

My mother died in 2013 and wonderful as it would be to bend her listening ear right now I am thankful she is not here to experience this.  Mom may not be physically present but she continues to inspire me to meet the challenges of the pandemic with a helpful hand and heart and a caring and creative spirit. 

Other Mothers Day posts………….

What Does Your Mother Do?

Mothers at the Met

Mother’s Day Kitsch

A Hat for Mother’s Day

 

 

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A Hat for Mothers Day

with aunt vi all hatted up (1)Check out our classy hats!  Last Friday I was at a lovely Mother’s Day tea in Saskatoon with my 95 year old Aunt Viola.  She is my mother’s oldest sister and the only member of her family still living.  I visit her regularly and help take care of her affairs. The personal care home where she lives has a great activities program with special features for the residents both morning and afternoon.  The afternoon activity on Friday was a Mother’s Day Tea.  Fancy tea cups and a selection of hats were provided along with lovely tea sandwiches, fruit, vegetable trays and cake.   Aunt Vi has been the lynch pin around which my mother’s extended family revolves and she has also been a keeper of its history.  So it is always great to chat with her and learn new things about my mother’s family.  

vi and her friends

Aunt Vi visits with her friends Ruth and Louise.

I also enjoyed my time with the other women at her table.  One hailed from Altona and another from Morden Manitoba and one of my aunt’s long time friends Louise, another retired teacher like my aunt, was seated right beside her.  It was nice to visit with them and get to know them a little better. Since I no longer have a mother of my own I appreciate being able to celebrate the Mothers Day holiday with my aunt.  I always feel my Mom’s presence and blessing in a special way when I am with her sister. 

Other posts……..

Happy 95th Birthday Aunt Vi

Aunt Vi’s Autograph Book

Why Was This Special? 

 

 

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11,000 Views for Mother’s Day

A post called What Does Your Mother Do?  featuring an article I wrote for the magazine The Daughters of Sarah in 1988 is the most popular one ever on this blog.  It has been viewed more than 11,000 times since I published it for Mother’s Day in 2012.  

Illustration by Bridget Bernardi age seven for an article I wrote for The Daughters of Sarah magazine

Another popular Mothers Day post has been Mothers at the Met. It includes photographs of paintings and sculptures of mothers which I took when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Mother and Child by Mary Cassatt 1899

One year my Mothers Day blog post showcased all the kitschy Mothers Day items I found for sale while I was volunteering at a Thrift Shop.

In 2015 I wrote the post Missing My Mom about how a song called Wanting Memories by Ysaye Barnwell made me think about my own mother on Mothers Day. 

Photographed in 1954 – me and my mother

Last year I wrote about a family visit to Leamington Ontario on Mothers Day. We all gathered at my sister-in-law and brother-in-laws home for a Mothers Day party. We didn’t know it then but that visit to Leamington would be the last time we would see Dave’s father who died on June 6.

Dave takes his Dad for a walk on our Mothers Day visit to Leamington last year.

This year 2017 we are spending Mothers Day in Saskatoon Saskatchewan for the first birthday celebration of our youngest grandson. This morning will also be his child dedication in church.

Happy Mothers Day!

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Mothering

mom dad meI still think about my mother every day, but the vacuum she left in my life when she died is slowly being filled by an overwhelming sense of gratitude for how blessed I was to have her for my mother. I was also blessed to have her as a role model for the ‘mothering’ responsibilities that each one of us is entrusted with in various areas of our lives as nurturers and supporters and care givers and cheerleaders and sources of affirmation. My mother set the bar awfully high in that regard but she remains an ongoing inspiration. 

Other posts……

God of Eve and God of Mary

What Does Your Mother Do? 

Missing Mom

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Missing Mom

This is my first Mother’s Day without my mother. I miss Mom every day. I am so thankful for having a mother like her who was my number one cheerleader and supporter. I could always count on her unconditional love for me.  Good things were always better when you shared them with Mom. Bad things were never quite as bad once you’d talked to her about them.

This week I received a letter from one of my aunts. She acknowledged that Mother’s Day might be hard for me, but reminded me that in loving and supporting my own children and grandchild, I pay tribute to my mother and keep alive the love and care she gave to me and my siblings.

 

Other posts about my Mom…….

Dorothy Marie Peters 

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

My Mom

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What Does Your Mother Do?

What Does Your Mother Do?  I wrote this article for The Daughters of Sarah, a Christian feminist magazine in 1988. The editors asked seven-year old Bridget Bernardi of Bloomington, Illinois to illustrate the piece. I think the article reflects the multi-faceted ever-evolving view we have of mothers. 

what does mother do- child's printingThe week before Mother’s Day, in my second-grade classroom, I had asked the children to write a story about something important their mothers did. “Try to think”, I said, “of one of the most important things your mother does.”

The stories seemed easy to write, and within ten minutes or so my desktop was covered with literary efforts. That evening after supper I began to read the stories. mother vacuuming by bridget bernardi age 7

“My mother cooks….. My mother makes the beds….. My mother vacuums…… My mother washes dishes….. My mother does the laundry….. My mom makes my lunch……My mom looks after our baby….. My mother cleans up.”child's drawing of mother sewing by bridget bernardiThe next morning I sat down with the children on the rug at the front of our classroom. “I realize,” I said to my students,” that all these things you have written about are things you see your mother do all the time. You like it very much that she does these things for your family. But I want you to write your stories again and this time I want you to think of something your mother does that has nothing to do with housework. Think of something really special your mother can do that maybe no one else’s  mom can do.”child's drawing on woman painting by bridget bernardi

The children returned to their seats. My new assignment didn’t seem as easy as the first. Pencils gripped tightly in sweaty little hands moved almost painstakingly across the page. Tongues were sticking out and perspiration glistened on some brows. By the end of the day however, I was able to leave for home with twenty-five new stories in my backpack. turning summersaults child's drawing by bridget bernardiI had an enjoyable evening reading their new efforts.  “My mom can turn somersaults… My mom can play the piano…. My mother grows beautiful plants…..My mother is a teacher…….. My mother works in a nursing home……..My mom sews dresses for brides…..My mother can draw just excellent!”child's drawing of playing piano by bridget bernardiTwo stories really stuck in my mind. Two girls wrote about the work their mothers did on the family farm. Their combined efforts went something like this. 

“My mother works on our farm. She feeds the animals and looks after them. When one of the cows has babies, she helps. My mom mows all the grass on our big farmyard. She helped my dad pour the concrete for the floor of our new barn. She drives the truck when we combine. She gathers eggs and milks the cows. Sometimes she even manures out the barn. Mother does lots of important work on our farm. “

the work my mother does

That year my students and I prepared lunch on the Friday before Mother’s Day and invited our moms to school to share it with us. After the meal, we put on a little program. One of the girls read her story about “My Mother the Farmer.” I watched tears trickle down her mother’s cheeks as her daughter described the work her mom did on the farm. The mom told me later she had been touched to realize that her daughter had actually  noticed the many jobs she did on the farm. 

The next year I happened to teach the younger sister of one of the girls who had written about the contribution her mother made to the family farm. At the beginning of the year, I sent home the standard form to be filled out asking for birth dates, parents’ occupations, and other necessary information.   The previous year the mother had written ‘housewife’ in the blank beside ‘mother’s occupation.’ This year when the form was returned it said in the same blank in capital letters, FARMER. 

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Housework

La Promise

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Filed under Childhood, Education, Family, Holidays, Mother's Day, Reflections