By Marguerite Jill Dye
After a big family Mother’s Day Dinner,
Mom started to scrub lots of Corning.
Said the children, “It’s your day. You shouldn’t wash dishes!
Just rinse, and do them in the morning.”
From “A Smile, a Chuckle, or a Loud Guffaw or What Happened When I Wasn’t Looking?”
This poem in Mom’s book of humorous poems about senior citizens always brings a laugh because, I’m afraid, it’s universally true.
Mother’s Day makes me think of my mother, whose legacy is longlasting: a brilliant woman with a ready laugh, whose (rather scandalous) jokes, hilarious poems, and music always livened things up. She was strong and courageous, with a trace of pioneer blood. Roughing it in Vermont while building Dad’s dream lodge was more a nightmare for Mom, but she jumped right in with diligence and zeal, and fully rose to the occasion. In work clothes from head to toe, you wouldn’t have guessed she descended from the kings of France. She was a lady in all of her senses, and a perfectionist with high expectations – not always easy to live up to for my brothers and me. But she also inspired many people who knew her, in music, writing, and the fine art of living. Her enthusiasm and bright ideas were in sync with her great joie de vivre. She was a student of Norman Vincent Peale and believed in the power of positive thinking.
Too many live without adequate care, in unsafe, deplorable conditions. We can help a child we know or through programs like Guardian ad Litem to advocate for and protect a child in court. Our action is also most desperately needed in caring for Mother Earth.
As my husband and I participate all May in Walk Your AS Off, we’re especially aware of the chasm between man’s progress and the preservation of nature. Toxins and chemicals released in the air, spewed into water and soil, from digging, drilling, dumping, and burning, have undermined, not only our health, but also our Earth Mother.
Immune system damage is spiraling out of control: there are nearly 100 autoimmune disorders and diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and related forms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, and diabetes. On average, AS patients alone spend 10 years searching for a diagnosis! Those lost years without proper treatment can cause irreversible spinal damage. As health regulations to protect our wellbeing are being defunded and undone, a greater number of people will fall ill.
Once we’ve experienced immobility, we no longer take walking for granted. Walking and stretching, with doctor’s approval, can help chronic pain and limited motion.
By increasing the distance in steps each day, we’re becoming firmer and fitter. We want to lose a few pounds on our waists, to decreasebody mass index (BMI) and to make ankylosing spondilitis better known. Let’s walk for those unable to. Join a team at walkyourasoff.com or walkasone.org. Happy Mother’s Day, one and all!
Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between the Green Mountains of Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.