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This coming Sunday is Mother’s day, and it would behoove us all to take a moment to pause and consider the mothers in our lives. Most likely your own mother had a major impact on your life. Perhaps you are a mother yourself or your life partner is the mother of your children. In any event if we were born out of anything but a laboratory test tube, we have a mother- either living, dead, distant or nearby- and this is the week that we should consider her, and take pause.

My own mother is nearly 92, and living in assisted living, close enough to our home that I can walk to see her each morning. I make sure she gets out of bed safely and successfully, finds her glasses, her phone and her emergency call button. Of utmost importance to her, I make sure she has her first cup of morning coffee, prepared just how she likes it! She thanks me for being “good to her” and I modestly try to minimize her compliments, but they mean a lot, let’s face it!

She has failed in the last year, her memory ravaged to the point that she tries to call her long dead family members every day, frustrated to not be able to find their numbers. She taught school for over 30 years, and every Monday she’s positive that she’s supposed to “be somewhere”, either taking or teaching a class, but then decides to retreat to her chair because she’s to tired to tackle the classroom any longer.

I leave her apartment each morning, increasingly angry at the inevitability and cruelty of dementia and death. But then I think of the joy and relief she feels when I walk into her room each morning, and the meaning that simple act of kindness gives both of our lives. And I know she is still alive, still able to smile, and still my mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and children everywhere!

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