An Unexpected Mother's Day Gathering
Every year, when Mother's Day approaches, my brother and I try to carve out time to do something for our mother together. This year, it was decided that dinner out on Saturday would fit everyone's schedule. At dinner, my Mom expressed an interest in discussing the water landing of the US Airways flight on the Hudson River. I told her I would be happy to have her over to watch a recent movie on the subject. Since she wasn't up for it on Saturday night, I told her I would pick her up on Sunday and we would do that and any shopping she needed.
My Mom is not someone who enjoys spending much more than a few hours away from her home. Imagine my surprised when, after making her lunch and watching the movie, Mom expressed her desire to visit a while longer. A quick channel check revealed a classic, Mommy Dearest. I remember watching that movie on TV with mother decades ago when I still lived at home. She doesn't. So goes the ravages of Alzheimer's. It was a brand new one for her and she was mezmerized. She simply couldn't believe that Joan Crawford was so horrible. She also seemed confused about the idea that Faye Dunaway was playing Joan. Mom just kept asking, "Are you sure this is about Joan Crawford? That isn't Joan Crawford."
While Mom watched the drama unfold, I was in the kitchen prepping a turkey dinner. Nothing fancy. Our favorite grocery store (Wegman's) has prepared meats that are super easy to make. Turkey breast and gravy in the oven for an hour and I look like an amazing cook. The mashed potatos and broccoli took very little time or effort. However, I did have the foresight to chill the only bottle of bubbly I had.
As dinner was close to being ready, I walked into my formal dining room for something unrelated. Truth be told, the table has become the collection area for items that I have taken out of staged homes that need to be put in the basement. But there, in the china cabinet, I saw two sets of china. One from my paternal grandmother and another from my maternal grandmother. I grabbed a few dishes from that belonged to my Mom's mother and a serving dish or two. It wasn't until she walked to the table to get her glass of bubbly that her eyes widened with delight and she smiled. "Those are my mom's dishes."
What was an unexpected turn of events, with Mom staying for dinner, turned into a very special evening. She talked about her Mom and how she collected the china set one dish at a time over many years. She even told me the story of why one particular serving dish was missing a handle. Apparently, when my Mom was a little girl, her younger cousin Hazel had discovered how to take the lid off of a water cistern and was about to jump in. My grandmother saw it from the kitchen window where she was holding the serving dish in her hand. Grandmother dropped it and ran to stop the Hazel from jumping into water she had no chance of getting out of.
That china is much more special to me now, after seeing how special it was to my own mother. I don't have a memory of my grandmother. She died when I was five months old. And I honestly don't ever remember dining on the china as a child. It was far too precious for Mom to use. However, using it for Mother's Day dinner last night was absolutely the perfect thing to do. I believe it was the start of a very special tradition.