May 10, 2015 - 8:34 AM
VERNON - Every May, Brenda Gilchrist-Sword changes her profile picture. The black and white portrait isn’t her, but her mom Grace, who passed away in 2002.
Gilchrist-Sword, of Vernon, lives in a different province from where her mom is buried, so the profile picture is her way of honouring her mom around Mother’s Day. She can’t visit the grave like her seven siblings can.
“Facebook allows me to share memories with the family and feel closer with them,” she says. “It’s really cool because people who knew my mom comment on the picture and we can relive memories.”
For many, Mothers Day is a time to take your mom to the spa, buy her chocolates, or make her dinner, but for those who have lost their mothers it can be a tough day.
“The first year is so hard, you want to pick up the phone and call your mom,” she says.
Then she remembered what her mom told her at her father’s funeral. Gilchrist-Sword was 16 and a friend invited her to a baseball game after the service.
“Mom goes, ‘Well you didn’t die, go on living,’” she says. “You can’t change it, she’s gone, it’s sad yes, but we’re here and we go on.”
Beneath the profile photo of her mom, just 18 in the portrait, are comments from family, friends and old neighbours. A childhood friend recalled how her mom always let them lick the bowl when she was baking while an old neighbour said her mom was “beautiful inside and out, so glad I got to meet her.”
“It allows me to relive memories and even with the distance, allows me to be with all these people,” Gilchrist-Sword says.
There are many ways to honour a mother who has passed on. Ray Riva does maintenance work at the Vernon cemetery and he says Mothers Day is a busy time of year.
“There’s a lot of requests to get things ready for Mothers Day weekend, installing memorials before people come and visit,” Riva says.
Others bring vases of flowers and personal things to decorate the final resting place of their loved one.
For Gilchrist-Sword, it’s no longer a sad day.
“I look at her picture and I smile,” she says.
Do you do something special? We invite you to share your stories in the comments section below.
Happy Mothers Day.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015