An Unexpected Mother's Day Gathering

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

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.

Grandma's ChinaAs 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.


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Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Chris Ann, thank you for sharing about your special Mother's Day weekend.  I am glad you were able to make your mom's day and evening so special. :)

May 15, 2017 07:19 PM #1
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Chris Ann... what a lovely post and it brought tears to my eyes. I'd give anything to have just one more Mother's Day with my own mother, who's been gone for 19 years. This is a memory you will hold forever.

May 16, 2017 03:53 AM #2
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

You gave your mom (and yourself) a very special mother's day. 

May 16, 2017 03:55 AM #3
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Realty One Group - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Chris Ann Cleland It is moments like this that you will forever remember and the triggers, the simple ones like dishes, that your Mom will cherish.

May 16, 2017 06:28 AM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I'm so glad you had this special time with your mother, Chris Ann.  You're very fortunate to still have her.  I lost mine in 1975.

May 16, 2017 08:05 AM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Chris Ann, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    


May 16, 2017 08:05 AM #6
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Chris Ann: Oh, I know how hard this journey is for you, and what a sheer delight it must have been to suddenly see a brighter side from a happier time. Especially on Mother's Day.

BTW, I love that China pattern. I realize it's probably ancient but we don't have enough flowers on our dishes anymore.

May 16, 2017 08:39 AM #7
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

What a great day this turned out to be.  So very thoughtful of you to pull the beautiful china out.

May 16, 2017 10:00 AM #8
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Chris Ann - It's so nice when everything aligns perfectly like that - I'm glad you got to enjoy a special day with your mother.

May 16, 2017 01:07 PM #9
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Chris Ann this is such a lovely story!  My father had alzeihmers and he loved to talk about world war 2 but didn't remember much else.  I'm so glad you're Mom remembered the china and you both enjoyed a lovely conversation about it. It is a gift to see them happy and talking about something they 'know about' and makes them feel so good.

May 16, 2017 04:34 PM #10
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

It sounds like you had a nice day Chris Ann, I enjoyed the time with my family.

May 17, 2017 06:50 AM #11
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Chris Ann --- what a special and very nice post.   I imagine this Mother's Day was one you will remember for a long time.  

May 17, 2017 08:05 AM #12
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a sweet, and yet sad, story.  Such a horrible disease. My aunt (mom's sister) was diagnosed last year. I took her to the store today and it was challenging to say the least. It just breaks my heart.

I'm so glad you were able to have such a loving Mother's Day with your mom.

May 18, 2017 11:19 AM #13
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Chris Ann

What a perfect way to celebrate this special day. Myrl, sometimes I have my doubts about being feature in an "Old Farts Club".  I immediately think of cloths pins :-)) cheers cvc

May 19, 2017 07:26 AM #14
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Goosebumps! I've got goosebumps!

Tears! I've got tears!

Memories! I've got memories too!

Love! I feel the love !

Chris Ann, promise me you'll make a story book. They are so easy to do today. Enter this story and your photographs into the book. You will treasure it through the years. 

To you I send a virtual hug and an even tighter one for your mom. 

May 21, 2017 08:50 AM #15
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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