By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing
Mothers Day used to mean making macaroni necklaces and hand prints in clay for my Mom. I was also known for handmade cards created with plain white paper more often than construction paper because my marker drawings of love birds or rose buds tended to show up better. And I preferred markers to crayons.
What’s amazing to me is that my own mother has managed to save giant envelopes stuffed with such things, along with graduation programs, newspaper clippings and other evidences of my activities from childhood until, well, probably even now.
I had no idea she’d so carefully tucked every piece of paper into a two folders where she could relive my little successes and reread my childish attempts at wishing her a happy birthday, Mothers Day or other “just because” moments.
I recently sat in awe as I sifted through evidence of a lifetime of mother’s love spread across her bed as she watched from the comfort of her recliner. It turns out that she’s carefully stored away similar collections representing each of her children’s lives.
I’d always known my father was proud. He was much more vocal about such things. Meanwhile, Mom was quietly creating an archive of evidence for future generations that her children, including me, had indeed lived and perhaps even mattered to the world. At the very least, her efforts have shown me that my tiny triumphs mattered to her.
She’s an inspiration. I know I have lots of things my own children have given me, and some they just happened to leave behind upon graduating to adulthood. They are in boxes in various places and tucked into nooks and maybe hiding in a cranny here or there. Finding them all would certainly take significant effort.
In honor of her, and in honor of my own offspring, I’m committing to do a little spring cleaning and organizing to sift the pearls from the rest of the random things crammed in my garage. It’s a great way to get started, and will make the inevitable project more an adventure than the grueling task it often appears.
I’d also like to help my Mom take the envelope collections she adores and turn them into scrapbooks of a more permanent nature. It could give her something to do while I am at work, and a chance to relive so many positive memories created over many decades.
Perhaps your mother has a secret collection of her own. I urge you to seek it out and let her know how much it means to you that she took the time and care to preserve such things–even if they are only still alive in her heart and memory. In that case, perhaps a little encouragement to journal about them would be a gift to each of you.
Of course, each family will archive their successes in ways appropriate for their own personalities and experience. However you do it, just do it.
Your children–and your mom–will thank you.
RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s WebTechGirl.com and BookTrailerCentral.co. She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.