I loved Mother's Day when I was a child; we made breakfast in bed for our mother and as eldest, I got to be in charge of something I really wanted to do. I always loved being in charge, still do, and most folks don't mind after they all realize that everyone has to do whatever it is -my way.
After I turned eight and our grandparents arrived from Germany after successfully having survived the Holocaust, we celebrated Mother's Day in the afternoon by inviting first two, then three grandparents after my grandmother arrived the following year from Switzerland where she survived the atrocities.
These were joyful affairs where the children were always more vocally and affectionately celebrated than the elders, but there was always good food and plenty of home-baked goodies.
When my own children were small, I basked in their hand-made cards and projects lovingly created in school or at home, hand prints, silhouettes, flowers of paper or seeds which they sprouted.
I guess Mother's Day changed for me when my grandmothers passed, my sisters married and I became a single parent. No one took charge, including me, of making my day special any longer as we continued to celebrate with dinner for everyone, appreciating the next generation of children and watching the talent shows they devised for our enjoyment.
Now I am the grandmother generation. I moved to Arizona to live near my children so they could help me care for my second husband who has Alzheimer's disease and my grandsons are old enough to take charge of the day to make it memorable for their mother and for me. Were it not for my husband's illness, we would still be in New York and yesterday could not have happened. Good things can happen even when all looks barren and bleak; we carved out a time for a visit to the nursing home in the afternoon where he was in a good mood, wandering the halls as usual, but ready to play catch, look at pictorial magazines and enjoy eating an apple.