“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
Saturday’s Mother’s Day celebration was our family’s first at St Mary’s Home. My Mom, Jane, moved in at the end of March. My sister, Betsy, came in from southwestern Michigan and I took the CTA (Chicago’s public transportation) from my home in Edgewater.
The cheerfulness and high spirits in the halls negated the drizzly gray day outside. As we waited for the dining room to open for the brunch after Mass, my Mom showed us the bird aviary that she visits every day in the “social street” area. We were delighted by the variety of little birds that flitted from one nest to the food bowl to the branch and then came to look at us. We had been out in the garden earlier in the week and saw rabbits, squirrels and lots more birds amid the blooming trees and bushes that surround the home. Having grown up near the Susquehannock State Forest in Pennsylvania, my Mom was very knowledgeable about the outdoors plants and fauna. I am still trying to guess the breeds of the caged birds.
As we finally entered and moved through the dining room, my Mom looked around at the tables to make sure her friends had a place to sit and someone to share this meal with. We joined Eleanor, who has been a Resident at St Mary’s for many years.
There were mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters (and of course religious Sisters) and friends here to honor these important women in our lives. Mother Patricia gave the blessing. Sister Mary Ann stopped by our table to see if we needed anything, and Sister Mary stopped for a chat. Not just our table, they visited every table!
Here at St Mary’s the feeling of hospitality is evident in both the special events and daily life. The Sisters, staff and Residents open their arms to welcome newcomers. They pull up another chair and make room for you at the table. There is food to share, stories to tell and someone to help when it is needed. An event like Mother’s Day allows others to be a part of this community if only for an afternoon.
After the wonderful meal, we headed into the auditorium for some high-stakes bingo and an assortment of homemade desserts made by the Residents. Filled with laughter, sugar and chocolate, my sister and I walked our Mom back to her room. We met and visited with some of her neighbors and their families. My Mom has only been here for 6 weeks. It has been a challenging transition for all of us but as we witness the care, concern and simple joy that come from being a part of this home, we are thankful to the Little Sisters of the Poor and the St Mary’s community.
Photo: (l to r) Betsy, Jane and Kathy pose in front of the aviary.
Click here for photos from this event!