Music to spark a better life for older adults and preschoolers

Posts tagged ‘mothers day’

My Mom

Mom & me 1960

My mom was an amazing woman. I don’t think she ever thought of herself in that way, yet she was. She influenced my life in so many ways. While I no longer have her around to thank in person, I can let others know about her and how they (like her) influence the lives of others.

My mom was good with her hands. While not fond of sewing, she made mounds of clothes, curtains, pillows, and other items. She crocheted toys. And, it wasn’t just handmade items, she would often fix the washing machine or other household mechanical items. When diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she made sure to finish embroidering great grandma’s tea towels so we would have memories pass on.

My mom was creative. She could create things out of nothing. She could create an activity out of odd resources. Two strong memories are of a summer evening defrosting of the fridge from which mom created frost balls which she threw at my dad when he returned home. The second is off a pow-wow in the lot between the parsonage & the church. Mom built a fire and had the family share frustrations. Then she insisted we march around the fire and together yell the alphabet to excise all the “evils” from our life. (Can’t say the issues left, but we felt silly, laughed, and had lots of the town driving by to figure out what we were doing.) She set an example to try other media for expression when she tried her hand at painting and ceramics as an adult.

My mom loved music. She played the piano. In fact, she was my first teacher. She encouraged my singing as a child along with my other musical interests as I grew. She played all types of music on the stereo. My parents took us to concerts, sang with us in the car, and spoke about why they like certain music.

My mom was a  force. I mean that with great love & respect. She knew what she wanted, when she wanted it, and how she wanted it. I grew up with strong women in my life. For their example, I am grateful.

My mom had an eye for details. She could tell by looking when we had not followed the correct steps when polishing the furniture and wold have us polish it correctly. She noticed things like praying mantis walking down country roads. Her comments made me aware of things in my environment. I’m sure this eye for detail was part of why she was so gifted in science and math.

Most of all, my mom loved and cared for people. I grew up with loving parents and extended family. We had a house full of foster brothers and sisters, along with our friends. We made May baskets filled them with flowers from the garden delivering them to members of the congregation and the neighborhood.  Mom voiced her fears and concerns for others – whether it was a family friend deployed in Vietnam or a church member in the hospital. She was a Girl Scout leader willing to camp in the cold, allow us to get her wet when canoeing,and to eat the food we managed to burn.

Know that you, just like my mom,  impact the lives of those around you. And, Mom, I miss you!

I’ll Love You for Always

Love You Forever

Image via Wikipedia

In a recent post, I asked about favorite children’s books that can be sung. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is one of my favorites. When my daughter was in second grade, her grade level held a Mother’s Day Tea and  presented a reading of the book with the refrain sung by the children. I can say there were a lot of tissues used in that short presentation. It is still brings a smile to my face when I see this book. As it talks about love of a parent and child, it is one that is easy to relate with whether you are young or you are old. Why not share it with a child?

Singalong about Ladies

Grandma Cuts Loose

Image by diver227 via Flickr

Mother’s Day for older adults can be an emotionally packed day. The fact that mothers, sisters, children have passed can add a feeling of loss to the day. The sudden influx of cards and flowers brings joy for some while others look on feeling forgotten or less loved. These feelings are not just limited to the women, the men share them, too!

As an activity staff member in the various levels of care, I tried to find ways to honor and acknowledge the emotions of Mother’s Day along with providing stability. That and  Joan Shaw’s “The Joy of Music in Maturity” lead me to a month of singalongs with womens names. In other words, I add more of the names and songs about women throughout the month but switch my emphasis to almost exclusive use of these songs the week leading up to Mother’s Day. Here are a few of the songs I have handy during the month:

There are so many name songs, I’ll stop here. Knowing that some names (example – Albina) don’t show up in songs, I may a song like “Mary” and we insert names of those in the group along with their nicknames. Do you have other favorite songs about women? I’d love to learn what they are, so please share them in the comments below!

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