avatar

Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day

Written by Eunice Trotter. Posted in Community News, Featured

Published on May 08, 2012 with No Comments

Spending time with Mom is the greatest gift of all

What does an elderly mother want for Mother’s Day? She wants time with her children, who could be parents, grandparents, even great grandparents themselves.

With the average age of Americans increasing and a growing percentage of the population over age 55, Mother’s Day remains of significance to older mothers who have aging children. But instead of flowers and dinners out, elderly mothers say they want the gift of time.

“Just being here for her when she needs us, making sure she’s well taken care of and spending time with her is what is important now,” said Carolyn Blaker, 61, whose mother, Harriet J. Dokulil,  is 90 and a resident of Lowell Healthcare, a senior rehabilitation and memory care facility.

Like many women who became mothers in the 1940s and 50s, Harriet Dokulil was a homemaker whose four children grew up on homemade foods, activities involving the church and family-centered days.  The family lived on a 300-acre farm in Lowell.  She took care of pigs and chickens, milked cows, churned butter, made her own ice cream and grew her own vegetables.

“We had a dude ranch,” said Blaker.  “We spent our teenage years saddling and cleaning up after horses.  We’d charge $2 an hour to take people on the trails.  Mom was afraid of horses, so she didn’t participate much.”

Dokulil’s son, John, age 67, said his mother was hardworking.  His fondest memories are of the homemade food she made, like the salad dressing she whipped up from mayonnaise and catsup, or the ice cream she made from powdered sugar and milk.

Harriet Dokulil, whose husband died in 1998, enjoys the attention poured on by her family and says her children were “good kids.”  She lived with her children until falling and breaking her hip. She’s now recovering at the nursing community, and she loves visits. She also has 12 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren, many of whom will stop by to visit on Mother’s Day.

Paying tribute to mothers on Mother’s Day has been a tradition in the U.S. for nearly 100 years.  It started in West Virginia when Ann Jarvis, the daughter of an activist, wanted to pay tribute to her mother for all the work she had done taking care of Civil War orphans. 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 Australia, it was started by a woman who in 1924 visited a women’s home in Sydney and 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 it to honor mothers in memory of an organization started by a woman who rescued Jewish children from Nazi Germany.

Both Blaker and John Dokulil are retired now and can spend three or four days every week with their mother. Their other siblings, Jeanenne Sondgeroth and Harry Dokulil Jr., still work, but they visit as often as they can, said Harriet Dokulil.

Since she moved to Lowell Healthcare, her children have been able to spend quality time with her instead of focusing on providing daily living care, they said.  Family members provide important support roles for loved ones in nursing communities.

John Dokulil says staying connected as a family remains important to Harriet Dokulil and other members of the family. “Of all my memories, one stands out,’’ he said. “I most remember us doing things as a family.”

BIO: All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Eunice Trotter is communications specialist for American Senior Communities, which operates Lowell Healthcare and 61 other Senior Rehabilitation and Memory Care communities throughout Indiana. For more information about Lowell Healthcare, call 219-696-7791, or please visit the website at www.ASCSeniorCare.com/lhc.

“With the average age of Americans increasing and a growing percentage of the population over age 55, Mother’s Day remains of significance to older mothers who have aging children.”

Carolyn Blaker pictured with her brother John Dokulil knows the importance of spending time with their mother Harriet Dokulil.

Be Sociable, Share!

Share This Article

About Eunice Trotter

avatar

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. American Senior Communities

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.