“Think of a Mother’s Day card as a mini memoir,” says Trisha Thompson, a co-owner of Small Batch Books, in Amherst, Massachusetts, which publishes the memoirs of everyday people as mementos and heirlooms. “If you were writing the story of your life, which moments would best characterize your mother and what she gave you?” The quirky little things may mean more than the big general statements like “Thanks for always being there for me.”
Thompson says, “My favorite Mother’s Day card from my daughters said, ‘What other mom tells you that chopping garlic for dinner gives you a nice aromatic surprise on your fingers the next day?’ I loved it because it showed me they appreciate the offbeat humor we share, and that they remember it in specific little moments.”
Following are a few of Thompson’s tips to help jog your memories of life with Mom, so you can write a message as unique as she is.
1. Set the scene.
- Flip through old photos. Pictures can be powerful agents for eliciting memories (Mom looking chic at the playground, or frazzled as she wrangles the camping gear). So can your own childhood photos (you in your favorite “bride dress,” which she washed each night so you could wear it for six months).
- Reread old cards and letters your mother sent you. (From your sixth-grade graduation: “May you always be as happy as you are today.”) If you have access to them, look at old cards and letters that your mother saved from you. (“Mom I know I said I hated camp but now I don’t want it to end thank you.”)
- Listen to the music she listened to when she was cooking or singing to you at bedtime (Frank and his “Summer Wind,” Stevie and her “Landslide”).