Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Covered Bridge: No One Like a Mother

We all know one, or you may even be one, and if you were blessed to be raised by one, then you know exactly what I am talking about. You know, a mom—otherwise known as mommy, momma, mother, and a slew of other nicknames that come with her role.

Some of these moms are different, though. Not all may be flesh and blood. Some adopt, some took on roles to be a team mom, and some may care for 4-legged creatures. While it doesn’t matter what kind of mom they are, they all deserve to be celebrated.

One of the neatest things to watch is someone become a new mom. The instant change of realizing how much love there is to give and how your heart hurts with happiness is indescribable.

May is the month we celebrate mothers, and though I mention not all moms are the same, one thing they have in common is LOVE! We celebrate all moms for giving birth, feeding, clothing, playing, crying with and for you, and loving you through good times and tough times.

To those who have lost your mother, my heart hurts for you, and I send my deepest condolences to you. Please know there are resources out there for you, like this.

I hope you are able to remember the special times and celebrate her. There is an unspeakable bond between a mother and child, and the idea of losing that is simply devastating.

Please remember this Mother’s Day to tell those moms you know just how special they are. Take a little extra time out of your busy schedule to plan ahead and treat them with the love and care they’ve treated you with for you all those years. There is really no one like a mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

 

Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.

Long View: What is a “Wakey Wake” Anyway?

With May being the month for Mother’s Day, it brings so many memories, and I think enough time has gone by that I can share a little about our experience now.  Along with celebrating those still with us, it reminds us of those who are no longer with us and how we can continue to honor them and their memories.

My mother-in-law passed away on March 24, 2016, and we miss her. She pops up in our day in different ways. Smells, songs, movies, memories, foods. The flood of tears comes now and then, oftentimes when least expected. We think that is her reminding us to find joy in each moment. She was always good at that. She was the spark and light of my husband’s family, my “milly” (mother-in-law), and she was always a happy, funny (and at times, sarcastic) lady. She had beautiful eyes. The kind that smile at you when you look into them. Those are the best kind of eyes.

We miss her dearly. She got sick, and it was cancer. We were lucky, and the initial prognosis of 6 months to live turned into almost 4 years that we got with her.

My husband and I then embarked on the caregiver and advocate journey. Sometimes when things are new, they can feel like a maze, but in fact, if you partner with the right people, there are so many support systems out there to help you.

I am blessed to work for Health Alliance and knew the team to ask to find out what resources were available to her. The community outreach team and care coordination team helped point us in the right direction. Sometimes just having someone to talk with to know where to go is the starting point.

Your doctor’s office, health plan, and social workers can help you find resources when you need them. Health Alliance collaborates with many community resources to help you know where to turn and to share resources, like the United Way 2-1-1 or something similar depending on the area of need.

Now, back to what I was sharing about my mother-in-law. When we learned her time with us was nearing the end and our glimmer of hope for a cure changed to trying to create peace for her final days, we shifted the focus to doing things that kept her smiling as long as we could. We didn’t want to focus on the end being an end but instead focusing on what she wanted and what made her at peace with what was going on.

We started to talk about the food people serve at funerals. She was a foodie, so it was important to make sure the food would be what she wanted. While she was talking about it, she decided all the food sounded too good, so instead of planning a funeral, we decided to plan a “Wakey Wake!”

It was a celebration, sort of a wake while being awake. To us, it was our chance to say goodbye while she was with us instead of after she passed away. It was intimate, special, and exactly what she wanted.  It left us all with a memory of her that was bright and cheery. People shared so many sweet words with her, and it lifted her up. We had it in late January, and she passed away in late March.

We didn’t have a full-fledged plan made in advance, but we moved quickly to make sure things were taken care of in a way that respected her wishes. It’s important to take that step so you can be in the moment when the time comes, and it doesn’t have to be a dreadful thing. Think about it like writing a story and figuring out how you want it to end.

That reminds me of my grandmother, who had a different plan. She was such a spunky, strong woman.  She was a leader in her small town and an advocate of many things. She had her end-of-life arrangements all planned out with every detail outlined in her spiral notebook.

To some of our family, it seemed overwhelming to think about, but I tell you that there were no family fights, no arguments, and nothing to take the focus away from where it needed to be during a time of transition.

She had it all spelled out, all the way down to who was going to say what at the funeral, what songs she wanted played, and who the pallbearers would be. It was a true blessing to have that to reference and to know it was what she wanted. No guesses, no guilt, no asking ourselves if we are doing it right. It very much eased the stress that could come along with someone passing away.

It makes you really think about having that out of the way, already figured out so you can be present in each moment, celebrate each part of life, and choose what makes you happy at each phase.

Every phase is different for different people. If things change with your health and you would rather have a “Wakey Wake” instead of a funeral, then do it. If you would like your ashes to be in a tree urn so you can grow into a tree (that’s what I want), then do it.

I cannot thank a dear family friend enough for something she said to us at just the right time during our grief process.  She taught us that there are no rights, no wrongs, and no sorry in living and dying.

Pause and say that to yourself for a minute. Did you feel that? It takes so much pressure out of the grieving process. It’s OK to make decisions in the best interest of the living and the deceased in that moment. Do you have good intentions? Yes. Does it harm anyone? No. Then it’s OK. It’s also OK to talk about your wishes (and to get it documented somewhere).

Make sure you complete your Planning Ahead booklet from Health Alliance or refer to Five Wishes. You can also get similar copies from your doctor’s office, Health Alliance, your attorney or estate planner, and other community resources. The main point is to make sure you write down what you want to see happen if something happens.

 

Terra Mullins manages the community outreach team at Health Alliance. She is a wife and mother and has two really cute Mal-Shi pups! She loves nature and learning new things.

Your Bond as a Mother

Vantage Point: Mother Knows Best

“Mother knows best” is a phrase I heard all the time growing up. As a young child, I thought of Mom as the person you would run to after getting hurt to get hugs and kisses. Mom was the one who gave me good night kisses and woke me up with a gentle touch on my forehead.

I never thought how all of these actions benefited me in the future. Of course, being a kid means you are always correct, and Mom has no idea what she is talking about.

As a child, I would start jumping back and forth on furniture, and I would hear my mother say, “Stop jumping. You are going to get hurt.” As a teenager, I would arrive home past my curfew to my mom awake with a worried look on her face. She proceeded to tell me how one day I would understand, when I had my own kids, and I’d have the same worried feeling when I didn’t know where they were.

That day has arrived. I now have a child of my own, and I understand where my mother was coming from 100%. The motherly instinct has kicked in, and I want to keep my child safe all the time. I want to know what my child is doing all the time. I want my child to think of me when he gets hurts. I want to kiss my child good night and wake him up with a gentle touch.

Actions I thought nothing of, I now know were life lessons only a mother can instill in her children. Now, when my child won’t listen to me, I will sound just like my mother: “You’re going to get hurt,” and “One day, you will understand how I feel.”

May is the month when everyone recognizes their mother. We go out and buy her flowers, get the perfect card, take her out for lunch, and pamper her for the day. But why wait for a certain day to pamper our mothers? We have 365 days to let them know how much we appreciate all of the advice and guidance we received and still do receive.

Nowadays, Mom and I love to sit down and laugh at the silly things I did as a kid, as well as the trouble she got into as kid. After all of that, my mom still sits back and says, “Mother knows best.”

 

Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.

Mother Knows Best

Long View: Mother Knows Best

Picture it, jumping back and forth on furniture, hearing a mother say, “Stop jumping. You are going to get hurt.” Or hearing a mother say, “Finish your vegetables, and drink your milk.”

Or as a teenager, arriving home past curfew, while Mom waits awake with a worried look on her face. And then she says, “One day you will understand, when you have your own kids. You will feel worried when you don’t know where they are.”

Now that I am a mother, I know exactly what she meant.

“Mother knows best,” is a phrase I think we all heard while growing up. And isn’t that the truth at any age?

Mothers are often who we turn to for big and small things going on in our lives; they’re the ones we celebrate with and mourn with. They share stories of the past to help us learn more about the future. And when I go to my mom’s, or when I would visit my grandmother, I don’t know what it is, but I can sleep there better than anywhere else. I guess it is because it’s where I feel safe and loved for all that I am, no matter what. That’s my experience at least.

My mom has become one of my best friends in my adult life, someone who will always advocate for me, lift me up, and be there in happiness and tears. And I do the same for her.

Now, I have an 18-year-old daughter, and we have developed a similar relationship. Just like they say, time sure does fly, but motherhood has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life. I always want my daughter to feel safe, loved, and supported. I hope pain is limited in her life, but I always want her to know I will be there for her, no matter what the age, if she needs me.

She graduates from high school this month, and that will be an emotional day. When she turned 18 in February this year, she said, “Well, it is my last birthday.” I didn’t quite understand why she was phrasing it that way.

In her mind, it was the reality of becoming an adult, and she felt like that was the last time someone would focus on her special day because she was an “adult” now. Not sure why as adults we think we are less important to focus on, but I will celebrate her and my mother anytime.

May is the month when people recognize and celebrate their mother. Everyone does things a little differently. Maybe they go out and buy flowers, get the perfect card, go out for lunch, and pamper them for the day. Mothers deserve celebrating, and maybe you have something special planned too.

Outside of this special, dedicated time in May, it is also important to appreciate and spend time with them throughout the year to let them know how much we appreciate all of the advice and guidance we receive and to continue to learn more of those “mother knows best” moments!

 

Terra Mullins leads the community outreach team at Health Alliance. She is a wife, a mother, and has two really cute Mal-Shi pups! She loves nature and learning new things.