FOUR DAYS IN MARCH

Santa Ana ~ Patron of Grandmothers and Mother-Child Relations.

Santa Ana ~ Patron of Grandmothers and Mother-Child Relations.

Happy sledding day.  (All photos by Marylin Warner)

Happy sledding day. (All photos by Marylin Warner)

Dear Mom,

When Jim and I came to visit you last week, Kansas and Colorado were both getting hit hard with the “Rocky” snowstorms that closed interstates and schools, and knocked out power in many places. But in Fort Scott we stayed warm and cozy, fixed an assortment of foods and enjoyed being together.  We knew March was just around the corner.

Every day on the calendar has at least one special day identified with it.  St. Patrick’s Day is two weeks away, but leading up to the Green Beer Day are four special, unusual days that I really like:

Today, March 3rd, is I Want You to be Happy Day, aka Unselfish Day. On this day, the goal is for everyone to do something to make someone else happy. And if you want to go for the gold—do it anonymously!  This would be a natural for you, Mom. Years ago, a local store had a sale on boxed “Thinking of You” cards, ten for a dollar. We bought a box, and during the next month we sent anonymous cards to ten people who were alone or having a hard time. We wrote notes inside the cards, saying something specifically nice about the person…and signed each card: A Friend Who Appreciates You.

Monday, March 4th, is Holy Experiment Day. This is a perfect time to pray for someone to feel better, to get a job, to have a safe day. Pray for a child who is unhappy or a family who has just moved to a new place, or a stranger who seems to need a prayer. Imagine the aura of all those anonymous prayers floating around the world on March 4th.

Saturday, March 9th, is Panic Day.  Or, as some prefer, Don’t Panic Day.  It’s not until the end of next week, so you have plenty of time to prepare.  Googling Panic Attacks brings up an overwhelming amount of advice, much of it involving medications, counseling or costly techniques.        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxB1QAQoo5Q   is a 7-minute free, self-contained video with a practical technique: “How To Stop Panic Attacks-#1 Tip”

And finally, next Sunday, March 10th is Middle Name Pride Day.  This blog has previously discussed our feelings about our names, but this day is different. Middle names are legal identifiers; John Smith may be very common, but John Hiram Smith won’t be so easily confused. Also, do you know WHY you received your middle name? Was it for an ancestor? Has it become your nickname? On March 10th find a reason to appreciate your middle name. (This is very different than Name Yourself Day, which is in April.)

March is here, Mom. February’s “Rocky” snowstorm is past, and next month is April, with signs of Spring. If I were going to send you an anonymous card on March 3rd, I’d tell you how wonderful you are, how many nice things you’ve done for others, and how you’ve made the world a better place.   I love you.   Marylin

 

Last walk after snowstorm.

Last walk after snowstorm.

our snowman

 

 

 

 

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57 Comments

Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, lessons about life, making a difference, memories for great-grandchildren

57 responses to “FOUR DAYS IN MARCH

  1. ryoko861

    March 10th was my mom’s birthday. Her middle name was Corinne. I have NO idea where or from whom it came from. There’s very little on my mother’s side that I know. I do know my first name was her mother’s.
    Every day of the year I believe has a designation assigned to it. I guess that makes everyday a holiday, no matter how insignificant it may be.

    • I agree.
      I had a grade school friend who was named for her grandmother Corinne, who had died without telling how or why she’d had that middle name. The parents of my friend Corinne said she’d been named for Corrie Ten Boom (who hide Jews in WWII) and Irine, her godmother, AND her grandmother. I thought that was a very interesting combination of women.

  2. juliabarrett

    What I like about coming here is the sense of sheer joy, the love of life. I read, experience, and leave feeling much better than when I arrived. You have a real gift, Marylin. Your mother obviously nurtured your gifts well.

  3. Oh, I just loved that your mom bought those cards and unselfishly took the time to tell others someone cared. Love the snowman too! 🙂

  4. Greetings from Delhi….lovely blog it is!!

  5. You’ve given me something to look forward to – besides your lovely posts which are inspirational and thoughtful. Marilyn, I especially love the “I Want You to be Happy Day” and the “Don’t Panic Day.” The latter does make me think of the motto of Douglas Adams’ book, “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” which always brings a smile to my face.

    • Thanks, Judy, I’m glad you like these. My favorites are the “I Want You To Be Happy Day” and “The Holy Experiment Day,” probably because of my experiences with my mother while I was growing up. Now I enjoy this “official, specially-designated days”–especially in winter–because they remind me to look forward to days with fresh insights.

  6. Marylin you make my days with the many holidays you have for each month!

  7. I am so glad. I’m always amazed when I research the many special events and activities attached to all the days of the year.

  8. Don

    Such a life-giving post, Marylin. Your posts are always a joy to read.

  9. dianabletter

    Marylin, I love these suggestions–especially No Panic Day. We can always try to replace our negative thoughts with affirmations! Thanks for the reminder. The sledders look like they are enjoying themselves!

    • No one loves a snow day more than teachers…and children (parents aren’t such big fans.) Grace and Gannon really know how to make the most of snow, and drag Grandpa and Mor-Mor and their dog Maggie along, too!

  10. NIce ideas. In the UK, 1 March is St David’s Day, patron saint of Wales, so great celebrations among the Welsh with daffodils and leeks as their symbol (much as the Irish have the shamrock, the English the rose and the Scots the thistle). 10 March is Mothering Sunday, which is the original Mother’s Day, and 15 March is Red Nose Day, (a national fundraising day for worthy causes).

    • I love these multiple celebrations for each day! I never knew that March 10 was the original Mother’s Day, but I’m all for celebrating on both days.
      Our daughter Molly has her birthday on March 6, and through the years she’s claimed the entire month as hers since we can rarely travel that far on the actual day. This month we left presents and cards to be opened on the real day, but of course we’ll wait until another visit for cake and balloons. The grandchildren love it, too.

      • Mothering Sunday (UK) is the middle Sunday of Lent so it varies from year to year, depending on Easter. It was the one day of the year when servant girls were allowed a holiday to visit their mothers, and traditionally would pick a small bunch of wild flowers on the way. Not many blooming at that time of year, so violets became the traditional Mothering Sunday bouquet.

  11. Amy

    Your mother is remembered that she made the world a better place. Another beautiful post, Marylin. The snow, bridge, trees, and the steps of the Last walk after snowstorm photo is poetic. Have a nice Sunday!

    • Thank you, Amy. The snow closed down the schools and the roads and cancelled many plans, but it became a beautiful hike in quiet woods for us, and it fed our souls. You have a nice Sunday, too.

  12. Jim

    I love the pix. Better title for the “Walking” picture might be “First Walk After Snowstorm” because we were the first steps in a foot of untouched snow, even though it was our last walk with the kids this trip. The snowman looks like he needs one of those “I Want You to Be Happy” cards.

  13. I love learning about these different days from you. It helps get me through March to the ever-coveted April, when I know spring can begin in earnest. 🙂

    • So far, Carrie, March is clearer and sunnier than February was, at least during all the snowstorms. Like you, I wait for April and springtime, but for me it’s springtime in the Rockies, and that can have a lot of surprises!

  14. So many March birthdays in my family! My mother was the first, tho, (in occurrence) since she was born on March 17, 1908. I think of her a lot on her birthday, but now we celebrate on that day with our granddaughter who has the same birthday.
    I’m always touched by your love for your mother.

    • What a special time that must be, to celebrate your granddaughter’s birthday on the same day as your mother’s. I hope you tell you granddaughter many wonderful stories so she’ll appreciate the connection. Happy Birthday to them both–and this year it’s on St. Patrick’s Day!

  15. I love the sound of middle name pride day – the kids always used to tease me about my name, and that was the bit they heard called out in assembly. I used to think that if they knew my middle name I would be in real trouble: Maria Camillo Oliveira!! But I shall remember to feel pride on the 10th.

  16. I really loved the anonymous appreciation cards. What a wonderful surprise to receive, and then the ongoing wondering – who sent that to me? Who cared enough? I can also imagine the little hints given to friends to se if they would give away a clue about who it was. A very gentle and thoughtful gift. Thank you for sharing this lovely idea.
    One of our parishioners decided to start sending anniversary cards to every couple in our parish on their wedding anniversary. The hand written card says “From your friends at St. Barnabas”. Even though I happen to know who sends them, it is still a surprise and leaves a very warm feeling when it arrives.

    • Anything anonymous can be cowardly, a sly way to do harm without getting caught. But an anonymous deed or card with a thoughtful, specific and caring message is just the opposite. It could be any friend, so the recipient thinks well of and is happier about all friends who possibly sent the message.
      Your couple are so thoughtful, Rod. Any kind word or thoughtful card is a gift, and the world is desperately in need of such gifts, don’t you think?
      Thanks for sharing again.

  17. Marylin, how old were you when you first realized that your mother is an extraordinary woman?

  18. Okay–just between us–I didn’t realize it for a long time. I felt loved and safe and important to my parents, but I thought everyone felt that way. It was about the time that I was a teen and friends confided some of the sad and hurtful things that were standard for them, that I really appreciated my mom. And of course the older I got, the smarter she became as I realized her gentle but unique strengths. But actually, Darla, it wasn’t until the dementia robbed so many of her special qualities that I began to recall small details and really miss them.

  19. I love your posts, Marylin, because they allow me to look inside a window and see what a special lady your mom is…buying a pack of cards and sending them to people without signing them…just to brighten their day…that is fantastic.
    Thanks for sharing all the snow pictures…we could still get some big snowfalls…sometimes March is the worst month for snow in Colorado.:) But I, too, am looking forward to Spring.

    • Thank you so much, Vivian. I love your description of this blog allowing you to look inside a window and see what a special lady my mom is.
      Now that there are fewer and fewer moments when those windows exist for her, it’s good to know that she’ll still be remembered and appreciated.

  20. Thanks for making the beginning of March look so enchanting. My first name and my last name connect me to my mother and her mother. My middle name is my very own and the one by which I am known. So I guess I am supported on either side by two loving mothers. I still have one hour to participate in Holy Experiment Day and then you can catch the aura and carry it on 🙂

    • How wonderful is that! Your middle name is your own, and you’re surrounded on either side of it with the names of your mother and your grandmother. There’s strength in that connection.
      p.s. If you claim Colorado time, you still have almost eleven hours to participate in Holy Experiment Day!

  21. Jane Thorne

    Oh I love the cards and the days…just imagine the loving energy that goes with the care and thoughts for others…there’s magic in that. You are lovely Marylin 🙂 X

    • Thank you, Jane. As I remember these things from my childhood, some of them inspire me to do them again as an adult, and to share them with my grandchildren to do. This one–sending the anonymous Thinking Of You Cards with encouragements–is one I am going to repeat!

  22. What wonderful ideas for special holidays! You mom sure sounds like she was a special lady! Thank you for sharing her with us 🙂

  23. It is fun to decide that every day is some kind of special day. If dementia hadn’t stopped my mother, she’d be doing some of these things with her great-grandchildren now. Since she can’t, we’re passing on the ideas to them for her.

  24. What a great holiday fun photography Marylin ,
    …Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

  25. My middle name is “Charles.” It was my grandfather’s name. The middle name for my second brother is also “Charles.” I’m thinking that, instead of an homage to our grandfather, our parents just got lazy and didn’t want to think up new names. Or they forgot what MY middle name was.

    • If it makes you feel better, Al, in some cultures, giving all male children the middle name of a beloved ancestor is a tribute to the ancestor and a blessing for the sons. Same with all the female children’s middle names being the same, named for an honored ancestor.
      Or maybe your parents just forgot what you middle name was. ;=)
      (I doubt it.)

  26. petit4chocolatier

    Beautiful days. I love this. The snow pictures are gorgeous 🙂

  27. thanks for sharing these really really interesting days 🙂

    • You’re welcome. And if you want to celebrate any of these days on a different date, I doubt there are Calendar Police who will come after you. This is just an interesting way to do things during a winter month. Thanks for stopping by.

  28. helena mallett

    What a fascinating idea for a blog. I had no idea of the significance of all these days – wonderful!

  29. Great post. I love the idea of sending cards anonymously. I’m sure it made a difference.

    • Thanks, Pete. I definitely think it’s better than receiving anonymous criticism or hurtful mail. Either way, the recipient suspects everyone around him of sending the note. When it’s something kind and supportive, he suspects everyone of wishing him well.

  30. It certainly sounds like in your house there were and are many ‘Tell someone you love them ‘ days. I’m quite sure your mother can’t fail to feel the love you have towards her and is probably most proud of the fact you have instilled the same attitude in your family as you both adopted in sending the cards to people.
    Huge Hugs xxxx

  31. Middle names, interesting one. I actually use my middle name as my first name. All rather confusing and goes back to an argument between Mom and Dad regarding what I should be called.

  32. What a wonderful idea, sending anonymous cards with kind messages!

    You are bringing back so any memories of my mum and the little acts of kindness she carried out to others. I, like you, thought this was the norm and have been saddened by others’ experiences of a not so loving childhood.

    Christine xx

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