A Gift Guide for My Mom
My mom is 83 years old. She was a wife for 62 years. She’s the mom of six grown children. She has sixteen grandchildren – not including the steps and halves and all the grands’ friends. She’s a great grandma too. She is a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Mom is short in stature (and shrinking as time goes on!) but she has a large presence. Her laugh is loud and contagious. Her smile is big, bright, and beautiful. She has opinions and isn’t encumbered whatsoever to state them. She has a lot of love in her heart for everyone. Mom loves the underdog, the least of us.
You probably have a mom or someone in your life just like my mom. If so, do you struggle with finding great gifts? Well, if you know my mom or have someone like her in your life, I can suggest some appropriate gifts that will not be unappreciated.
My mom loves to read. Thank God she still has her eyesight because it’s her absolute favorite thing to do whether she’s alone or if everybody is around. She’ll go “take a nap” and read until she gets through a few chapters and then come back out to the family all refreshed without having closed her eyes. She has always been a reader. My parents had walls of bookshelves in our house, crammed with books of all kinds. They both read constantly. Mom still does. Some of her favorite books? Well, anything by David Baldacci. I think there are over 40 of them and she’s read every one. She’s always waiting for Baldacci’s newest to come out and when it does, she’s right on it. We can hardly beat her to the punch before she gets it for herself. She also loves novels set in the time of World War II, like Beneath A Scarlett Sky and All The Light We Cannot See. Mom identifies with characters from this era and loves to read these kinds of historical novels. She’ll read history books, adventure books, love stories, mysteries, thrillers – just about anything. She likes books like Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived. And Where The Crawdads Sing – one of her very favorites. She loved My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, a story about a little girl and her crazy (or eccentric?) grandma. These are just a few of the books I know mom has read and read again. She’s quite a prolific reader, and a book is always a great gift for her. We recently got her a Kindle Paperwhite and a subscription to Kindle Unlimited so she doesn’t have to hold the heavy book during her “naps.”
For a mom who truly doesn’t need any more junk or stuff or decorations or towels or coffee cups or perfume or jewelry, books are just about the only tangible thing we can successfully gift to her and assure she’ll be pleased as punch. But there are other, non-tangible gifts my mom or yours would really love.
Mom would love to have her aches and pains taken away. I’m talking about a cure for arthritis here. Mom’s bones are fragile. Her knuckles are larger than they should be, and they give her quite a bit of pain. She doesn’t complain, though. I think she’s lived with this for so long she just accepts it as normal. She can’t move like she used to. She can’t lift things or open jars very well. She doesn’t ask for help often, but when she does, she feels bad for having to ask. So, if somebody were to find something to relieve her of those aches, that would be the best gift ever. In the meantime, there are a couple things that could help her while she waits for the cure. Like she could smoke some weed. She won’t, but she could. She could use some soothing salve like the one from Amma Healing Company. They make a CBD-infused salve that calms inflammation and helps sore joints, sore muscles, or pretty much sore anything. She could also use a new heating pad. Because, well, heat helps. I wish she had the strength and ability to confidently get into and out of a hot tub. That would be an excellent gift and I know that would comfort those achy joints!
One thing mom wants every year and all year long is more time with her kids and grandkids. We are scattered around the country and mostly she just visits via voice calls and Facebook. If we could get her to use Zoom, Skype, Facebook video messaging . . . anything that could be sort of face-to-face . . . I know she would enjoy it. Even though mom and dad urged us to get out and explore the world and move to new places and try new things, I know she wishes we were all closer. I wonder how many other moms have this exact wish? We do the best we can to see her as much as we can. No electronic means of visiting can ever replace being in the physical presence of the best bit of love from the one who loves you most.
The thing mom wishes for more than anything is more time with dad. He died in late 2019 and she has been all by herself since then. For the first time in 63 years, mom started living alone. Seriously, she got married right out of her parents’ house and went directly to her marriage house. Now she’s in a nice one-bedroom apartment very close to two of my sisters’ homes and although she’s living well, she sometimes wants to just be with dad. Her health is pretty good, so there’s no real reason to think she’ll be with him any time very soon, even though we never know when we’ll go, right? She misses him more than I can imagine. The very best gift we can give mom now is to be there with her and to miss dad right along with her. We do. We share memories and stories and laughs about dad. He kept her laughing and loved all those years. It’s a gift we can keep giving her until she sees him again.
Merry Christmas, mom.