Mother’s Day was a few weeks ago. I heard many stories about disappointment and sadness as moms everywhere had to improvise celebrations this year. I wished all my friends who are moms a Happy Mother’s Day via text. They texted back and told me of cards and notes, drive-by parades and Facetime calls with kids and grandkids.
I’m not a mom. But, I’m a daughter to a great mom. I invited her over to my house, where I set up breakfast on the back patio. I clipped flowers from my garden. I served French toast and mimosas. We ate and sat on the back patio and enjoyed the gentle breeze that made the wind chimes gently ring. And it was the best Mother’s Day ever.
Up until a couple of years ago, my mother and I had not lived in the same state for 40 years. My dad was in the military, so I grew up in California. Growing up meant leaving home, getting married and moving to Boston so my new husband could go to college in 1978. Mom and Dad retired from the Air Force in 1979 and returned home to Idaho, moving to Moscow. A couple of years later, my husband and I moved back to California. Young couples, just out of college don’t have much money, so visits to Moscow didn’t happen too often.
Mom and Dad relocated to Lewiston in 1991. By this time, I was single, working hard and trying to visit mom and dad whenever I could. I remarried in 2001 and could afford to make a trip to Lewiston once every couple of years. Then Dad died in 2013, and so I made it a point to visit Mom at least once a year and always tried to schedule the trip in May to enjoy the beautiful spring weather in Lewiston and spend Mother’s Day with Mom. Some years it worked out. Many years, because of work commitments, it didn’t.
In 2017, I suddenly became a widow myself, losing my husband of 16 years to a car accident. I liquidated our California home and our life together and started fresh in Lewiston. When I formed the idea to retire early and relocate, it was to be close to Mom as she ages and needs more help. In my mind, it was all about me being there to help her. I never considered what a help she would be to me. She and I helped the movers bring furniture into my house. I help her rake leaves in fall, and then she comes to my house and helps to rake mine. She lived with me for 2½ weeks and cooked and washed and fetched while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery last year. We share leftovers and grab items for each other when we’re at the grocery store. She swings by for coffee when she’s in the neighborhood. We’ve started a new pastime of taking Sunday drives to explore areas I’ve never visited but heard stories of my whole life.
Mom will be 90 in July and, because of COVID-19, our family reunion/birthday plans have been put on hold. I moved to Lewiston in March 2018 and have now spent the last three Mother’s Days with my mom. Mom and I don’t know how many more Mother’s Days or birthdays or anythings we’ll get to celebrate together. So that is why, even with a world pandemic, self-isolation and just the two of us on my sunny back patio, this was the best Mother’s Day ever!
— Irene Everett, 62, of Lewiston