My mother was born Mary Ellen Roberts in 1924, here in Nashville. She was a beautiful young woman. Somehow, my dad caught her eye…the rest, as it is said, is history. Mom was the mother of 5, miraculously; she suffered 4 miscarriages prior to the birth of my older brother, Richard. I cannot fathom how difficult it must have been for her, but her maternal instinct was strong.
Three years after Richard, I was born. Eighteen months later, my brother Mark came along. There were just the three of us for what seemed like an eternity. Then, after six-and-a-half years of there being only three, along came the 4th. My brother Lynn was born in 1964. In August of 1966 the last (but certainly not the least) came into the Bates household; my sister Amy. Mom had just passed her 42nd birthday. In 1966, 42 was considered to be well past the time of childbirth. Within two years after the birth of my sister, Mom was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the last many years of her life were filled with the agonizing pain from the effects of the crippling disease; Mom never, well, rarely complained. Again, I cannot fathom how difficult it must have been for her. My sister Amy dealt with our mother’s physical disabilities entirely. Amy was her caregiver for all of their life together. Amy was with my mother essentially all day, every day until my mother’s death in 1989. I don’t know how my sister was able to make and keep such a commitment. It is easy to tell your mother you love her, quite another to live it. Amy did just that.
My hope for you is that you are still blessed with your mother’s presence. That presence may only exist in memories. If you are fortunate to still physically have mom, make sure to spend time with her. That is what she really wants. If you choose to bring something pretty to her, come see us. Moms also love flowers.