For the Women Who Raised Us: Ways to honor your mom this Mother's Day

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She gave you life and has seen you through your best, hardest and wayward times. She gives guidance and is present, supportive and honest. She’s not perfect, and she works hard, sacrifices for those around her and loves you.

It’s the month of May, when we honor our moms. As we know, many mothers, grandmothers and honorary mothers value spending time with their children more than material gifts. There are many ways we can honor our mothers’ desire to be together, says Dr. Sheila Long, PhD, Southeast Missouri State University Child and Family Studies instructor and former Hoover Center director.

“Cook with them in the kitchen, share recipes. … Sit down and watch a movie with them, and they can reflect on something similar to that when they were growing up,” Long says.

And if your mom has passed on, the month of May is still a time to honor her. Here are a few ideas for ways you can give your mom — whether she is with us or not — the gift of your time, support and love.

If your mom lives close by:

Go on a day trip

Find a place a couple of hours away neither of you have been and take a road trip. Quaint towns nearby with fun shops and restaurants include Anna, Ill., Ste. Genevieve, Mo., or Wilson, Ark. Drive for dessert at The Pie Safe in Pocahontas, ice cream at Sugar Chic in Perryville, Mo., or doughnuts at Mr. Chan's Donuts in Kennett, Mo. Or, go hiking on wheelchair-accessible trails at the Ridgetop Trail at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, Interpretive Braille Trail at Elephant Rocks State Park or Boardwalk Nature Trail at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.

Listen to a record

Ask your mom what her favorite album is, find the record and a record player, and listen to it together from start to finish. Bring her favorite foods and drinks to share as you listen, and ask her about the memories she associates with each song.

Learn something new

Sign up to take an exercise, craft or cooking class together. Local recreation centers, public libraries and restaurants often offer fun activities where you can learn a skill and make new memories together.

If your mom has passed on:

Cook her favorite meal

Get out your mom’s recipes, make her favorite foods and invite others who knew her over to eat. As you share in the meal together, tell stories about your mom and remember the characteristics you loved about her (and still do).

Do something she loved to do

Did your mom love to garden? Dance? Camp? Whatever activity she enjoyed, try your hand at it and remember your favorite memories with her as you participate.

Put her favorite flowers around your house

Fill your home with your mom’s favorite flowers. As you walk through your house, let them remind you of who she was and her love for you.