From Frank ... a day for moms everywhere
This Sunday we celebrate Mothers. It always makes me think about the enormous and multifaceted role our moms play in our lives. I'm still amazed by my mom's accomplishment in raising seven children as a single parent. It's a selfless and often thankless job, because in the moment the focus of a mom's attention is completely oblivious to the challenges she faces or the mix of backbone, creativity, and love she musters to succeed.
If I didn't appreciate it at the time, I certainly do now. My mom is a role model for me in so many ways. My parents separated shortly after I was born, leaving mom to find the energy and stamina to raise me and my six sisters, learn to drive, and to secure her first professional job. Mom was hired by Dr. Derby Sussman, a wonderful podiatrist who hired her on the spot when they met as my he was treating my oldest sister. “Anyone that can run a house with seven kids, is certainly capable of running my office.” And for the next twenty years she did just that. In doing so, she showered me and my sisters with love, but also demonstrated every leadership quality you might learn in a management book. In short, she became my hero.
Six years ago this week, mom came to live with me and my family. I can’t say enough good things about living in a three-generation household and cherish so many memories of her and my son. Today, at 91, my mom has dementia, likely Alzheimer’s, and I’ve become the parent in our current daily lives. I’ve got the support of my sisters who visit often and professional caregivers that allow me to work and have some semblance of a personal life, but it's still grueling on some days. But if I ever feel overwhelmed I only need to think about how she must have felt all those years ago to find my energy.
A Community Designed to Accommodate
This transformative journey with my mother has me reflecting on the Village and how we've built a community that can support members at all stages of life. We offer two memberships: Social for all who are looking to participate in neighborly educational or wellness opportunities. And Members Plus for those who could use an extra helping hand from our volunteers, things like a ride to a medical appointment, small home repairs, or grocery deliveries. This flexibility allows us to be respond to each member based on what they need most.
Many on the social plan also serve as volunteers, paying it forward with the knowledge that should their circumstances change the same community will be there for them.
The Village community is active and growing. We've set a goal to reach 200 members this year (we're currently at 180). If you've been thinking of joining, review the membership information on our website to see what fits your needs. A growing membership helps us expand our programming, as people are more likely to find others with similar interests.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women that have taken care of and loved others, whether your own children or someone in need. That unconditional love, guidance and support is the heart of motherhood. I have one mother that I will celebrate on Sunday, but many women who mothered me in so many ways are worthy of my thanks and appreciation for all that they’ve done. Happy Mother’s Day to all.
Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Village