Mother’s Day may be bittersweet this year

OKEECHOBEE — Very few things bring out the sentimentalist in people the way Mom does. Even the toughest of men can usually be brought to task when Mom disapproves. Mother’s Day is one of the few holidays celebrated internationally, and many spend more money on it than for any other holiday. Not only are they purchasing gifts for their own moms but for all the moms in their lives, mother, stepmother, sister, wife, girlfriend, daughters and grandmothers.

According to the website Statistica, it is expected that over $5 billion will be spent on jewelry this year and $4 billion will be spent on some type of special outing. Other popular gifts are electronics, gift cards, flowers and personal services.

This year, Mother’s Day may look a lot different than it did in years past, though, as many moms are in nursing homes, with no visitors allowed, or are in their own homes but social distancing.

Karen Williamson Cook expressed sadness and frustration at not being able to see her mom or even send her flowers this year, although she was quick to say she completely understood why it had to be that way, and she greatly appreciates the care her parents, Betty and Sonny Williamson, receive at the Okeechobee Health Care Facility (OHCF).

“It must be difficult for the people who work there to not only act as caretakers but to also fill in as family right now,” she said. Mrs. Cook has missed her mother’s 87th birthday and her parents’ 68th wedding anniversary since the facility went on lockdown. Now she will miss Mother’s Day as well. She is making the best of it, though. She will be sending a beautiful card and calling her mom on the phone. Although she wishes it could be different and she could spend the day with her mom, she said she feels secure knowing OHCF is taking good care of them.

Darlene Chandler said she will be doing what she does every day, calling to say “I love you.” “How you show love to your mother on Mother’s Day should be what you do on the other days, too,” she said.

A joke making the rounds on Facebook warns dads that the children will not be bringing home gifts for mom from school, so they better take care of it themselves, and this may come as a shock to some, whose children always seem to magically have a gift for mom. Jennifer Wisener is doing her part to make sure the grandkids have something special for their mom. She said she watches the kids while their mother is at work, and she is helping them make gifts while they are with her.

Restaurants are now authorized to open to the public with seating at 25% capacity, so the moms who are able to leave home will have somewhere to go.

For the moms who are homebound, one of the longest-standing traditions is to send flowers, and that can still be done. Gift cards and certificates for future outings are also a good idea. One woman, who shall remain nameless so her mom does not find out, will be receiving a gift card for Milking R Ice Cream, and what mom would not want to receive that?

And finally, India’s Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) founder Abhishek Poddar hopes you’ll join him in sending a Bouquet of Hope or submitting a flower to it. “Flowers are the perfect Mother’s Day gift because they symbolize life, love and hope. Starting Monday May 4, you can send your loved ones a free virtual bouquet of flowers, with help from MAP. Over a thousand flowers have been submitted from around the world — including from Michele Oka Doner, Ralph Gibson, Jay Levenson (MoMA), Zandra Rhodes, Fern Mallis, Daisy Soros, Colin B. Bailey (Morgan Library & Museum) — to MAP’s ‘Bouquet of Hope.’ Some were drawn or painted; others photographed their garden or a motif from fabric. MAP is creating the world’s largest flower bouquet to inspire hope; something we all need now more than ever. Just in time for Mother’s Day, you’ll be able to pick your favorite flowers and virtually send a bouquet of your choosing to your loved one. You can also still submit a flower of your own and build a bouquet around it. Flowers can be sent from and submitted to: bouquetofhope.in.

“Use #BouquetofHope and tag @MAPBangalore when posting on social media channels.”

There is not a lot that can be done about the differences there will be this Mother’s Day as compared to last, but try to remember, most moms don’t really care what you buy them or give them or do for them. They just want to know you love them, and that old saying, “it’s the thought that counts,” is really true. Just ask your mom.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” — Agatha Christie.

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