Below is something I wrote as a weekly devotional around Mother's Day and it is what prompted my brother to suggest that I should start writing a blog.
It was May of 2001. I couldn’t decide what to get Mom that year. I’d been browsing the store for about an hour when I looked up and saw the sign: “Make this a Mother’s Day she’ll always remember.”
“That’d be a trick,” I thought.
I don’t recall what the sign was trying to sell me, but it didn’t matter. Mom had Alzheimer’s and I could have given her a tiara atop a ham sandwich and she wouldn’t remember it the next day—maybe not even later that same day—never mind forever. I walked out of the store empty-handed.
On the way back to Mom’s house, I turned on the radio to listen to Jack Buck tell me how my Cardinals were faring that day. As I listened, I reminisced about being in the car with Mom some 16 years earlier when during Game 5 of the 1985 National League Championship Series, Ozzie Smith homered to win it in the 9th inning and Jack instructed us to “Go crazy, folks!” We did. Baseball was one thing my mother and I had in common.
That’s when it occurred to me: I may not be able to give Mom a day she’d always remember, but I could give her a day she would enjoy. I could give her a moment. She and I had never been to a Cardinals game together.
On Mother’s Day I loaded up Mom and Dane and we made the two-hour trek to Busch Stadium. Mom must have asked at least 15 times on the way there, “Now, where are we going?” And at least 14 times on the way there, I questioned my own sanity for coming up with this idea.
It turned out to be a little logistically challenging to maneuver Dane through all the secret wheelchair passageways as the guard escorted us and all the while trying to keep Mom from wandering away. But, we eventually made our way to our seats.
I don’t remember all the details of the game. I remember that the Cardinals won. I remember that each time J.D. Drew came to the plate and the fans yelled, “Drrreeeeeeeewwwww,” Mom would ask, “Why are they booing that poor boy?” I remember Mom singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” along with the crowd. I remember her smiling. I remember thinking, “this is a Mother’s Day I’ll always remember.”
A few months later, we went back to Busch Stadium for Mom’s birthday. Many times on the way there, Mom asked, “Now, where are we going?” Each time I replied as though it was the first time she asked, “We’re going to a Cardinals game, Mom.” To which she usually responded with a simple, “oh.” Except once when she asked, “Didn’t we do this not too long ago?”
So, while Mother’s Day 2001 wasn’t “a day she’d always remember,” some little piece of it stayed in her memory far longer than I thought it would.
Thank you, God, for life’s moments—moments shared with family, friends, or strangers and moments experienced in solitude. Help open our eyes to these moments as they occur so we might appreciate their simplicity and joy amidst the chaos of a complicated world. Amen.