By Rebecca Fending
The month of May holds many promises such as those spring flowers that April’s rain promised us, more sunshine, and a smooth transition into summer.
May also houses two celebrated days and themes that are centered around a certain level of care, one of which is Mother’s Day. As we know, this holiday is an entire day designated to honor those who raised us, biologically or not. It’s a day intended for recognizing the supreme sacrifice mothers make for those around them, both children and other family members. First established in 1908, this internationally recognized holiday is a staple in our society. From Hallmark to Hollywood, Mother’s Day is an event that allows us to congregate and thank the moms in our life for all they have done and continue to do.
The other theme May brings is that of Older American’s Month. This year, the topic for this overarching theme is “make your mark”. According to the Older American’s website, this specific theme, “was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities”. Not just is Older American’s Month for our seniors, but it also functions as a way to present caregivers and caring family members with the recognition they deserve for lending the support our older Americans need.
These two May themes go hand-in-hand; as we recognize and honor mothers for their efforts and selflessness, we can do the same for the seniors in our community. Often, these themes overlap, making it all the easier to observe. As our mothers begin to age, they join the growing community of seniors that enrich our lives through their teachings and unique experiences.
As with honoring older Americans and mothers in a similar light, caretaking and motherhood share characteristics in how caretakers and mothers can (and often) share the same body, hold themselves the same way and carry out the same level of care. Both are jobs in themselves that require hard work and dedication which tend to be overlooked.
And for many people, they find themselves caring for their mother the same way she did for them during their younger years. The circle of life calls for a role-reversal in which we begin to see and understand the lengths to which our mothers went to provide for us and ensure our comfort.
So, use this month to thank a mother or caregiver you know for their sacrifice as we honor our senior citizens to the same degree. Let them know that they’re appreciated and exalted in our community.
And to our readers, many of whom find their center at the intersectionality of motherhood, caregiving, and senior status, thank you for all that you do. Be sure to thank yourself in the way of taking care of your health, both mental and physical.
Enjoy your time with friends and family, take care and we’ll see you in June!