Marcia Jones was born prematurely. Her mother, Martha Jones, provided around the clock care to the tiny infant, often staying up all night watching her sleep. Now, Marcia is giving back by spending as much time as possible with her mother, who now resides at Heritage Park.
"I just want to make sure she has everything she needs. She did it for me and I know she had a lot to deal with. Now I'm doing it for her."
Marcia visits her mother daily at Heritage Park, a nursing community. "I'm thankful for the good days. She's feisty and funny and loves chatting back and forth and we egg each other on. She's just delightful. I want to make sure whatever time she has left is good and comfortable."
It is this type of dedication that makes Mother's Day every day for Martha Jones, 84, and her daughter, Marcia, 56. Her mother receiving care at Heritage Park allows Marcia to focus on being a daughter instead of a caregiver. Now Marcia is able to spend quality time with her mother, she said. She and her mom laugh together and joke with each other. When Mrs. Jones feels up to it her daughter pushes her in a wheelchair around the nursing community to visit other residents.
As Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide, the many ways of giving honor to mothers and to women who act as mothers are as varied as the imagination. But of all the possible ways of showing appreciation, elderly mothers and their aging adult children say they are happiest just spending time together.
Time is precious. Mrs. Jones is coping with a variety of health issues. "But she has kept a good outlook. She's a Christian and she loves God. She wants to go home and she has that hope. But I work and I don't want her to be hurt."
While most children always honor their parents, paying tribute to mothers on Mother's Day has been a tradition in the U.S. for nearly 100 years. It started when Ann Jarvis, a woman from West Virginia, wanted to pay tribute to her mother for all the work she had done taking care of Civil War orphans and other causes that supported women. Jarvis campaigned nationally for several years to make the second Sunday in May Mother's Day, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday.
Mother's Day is also celebrated in other countries. In Arab nations, March 21st became Mother's Day after public reaction to a widowed mother who devoted her life to raising a son to become a doctor, then, he abandoned her when she needed him. In Australia it was started by a woman who in 1924 visited a women's home in Sydney, where she found many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she got support from local businesses and took them gifts. France and Germany began Mother's Day to encourage an increase in the birthrate. Israel began its annual celebration to honor mothers in memory of an organization started by a woman who rescued Jewish children from Nazi, Germany and took care of them.
Marcia Jones said her mother was always a caregiver who sacrificed herself to help others. She worked as a bookkeeper and in factories. She had primary responsibility for the home, including her four children. "I don't remember a time when she was not working," said Marcia.
Mrs. Jones grew up in the New Castle area and lived in Muncie and Kosciusko County. When rheumatoid arthritis struck, she was no longer able to work and mother and daughter moved to Ossian. Always the mother, Mrs. Jones worries when she doesn't have regular contact with her children, said Marcia. "So we'll get the phone and call whoever she wants to talk to."
"She loves us without any restrictions, no matter what we do. She's always there for us. She's always sweet, always there."
Eunice Trotter-Communications Specialist for American Senior Communities