Brianne Fitzgerald RN, NP, MPH

A mother never has a day off, whether you are a front line worker in a grocery store, EMT or emergency room doctor.  A mother never has a day off, whether you are managing a Zoom meeting from home trying to homeschool two children under the age of 12, and carving out extra time to trek to the grocery store.  A mother never has a day off, even if she sits alone and knits her anxieties away, worrying about her grown children and her grandchildren.  Add the vicissitudes of COVID- 19 to the mix, and many of us are left breathless.

Today is a special Mother’s Day.  There will be no Lilac tours at the Arboretum,  The 24th Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace will be virtual this year.  What can each of us do to honor those tireless workers living and dead who have always made the world a better place?  An extra hour to sleep is a no brainer if you can score that.  Moms that live alone and have not seen their children/grandchildren in weeks might like a drive-by if possible.  Mothers who are in the hospital or nursing homes are as unfathomably isolated as one can be.  Whatever way, you can connect with those moms is a blessing to you and for them.  For those of us who are believers, we think that our moms who have passed rest in peace. Some of us grieve as we are newly bereft of our mothers.  It is important to honor that grief and, if possible, share it with another.  It is hard to carry pain alone.

Yes, this Mother’s Day will be different from any day that has ever come before it.  Make a visit to the local garden center.  It will cheer you up, it will cheer your mom, and it most certainly will cheer the small business owner who runs the shop.  The gift of homemade food,  a handwritten card and/or drawing is something to cherish and reflect upon as these things take time.  A visit to the cemetery that is currently ablaze with the bounty of spring flowers, new plant life, and silence is time for each of us to review, revisit, and reflect.  Next year it will be different.  The secret is that today is all we have, let’s make the very best of it.  Share a smile, a virtual hug, a TikTok dance, a drive-by, a deep inhale of some flowers, a look at the newly cleared night sky and a prayer of hope and thanksgiving for all mothers everywhere who have done and continue to do their best to make us and our world a better place.