As the pandemic upends our social structures, the role of mothers—the way they are viewed or valued, as well as their responsibilities—is shifting.

This shift comes from a pre-pandemic reality: women make up at least 75 percent of caregivers, according to the Institute on Aging.

And recent surveys and anecdotes suggest mothers are bearing even more care responsibilities since stay-at-home orders began. It’s a small opportunity to shed some light on the often invisible and unpaid labor of caregiving.

For Mother’s Day we want to share some stories of the mothers in our community. We know there are so many more out there who don’t have time to tell their stories right now.

They are parenting while living with multiple sclerosis, or caregiving for their partner who has Parkinson’s disease. Some are working as home health aides for people with ALS, or as nurses and neurologists for people with Alzheimer’s, ALS, Huntington’s, MS and Parkinson’s.

We thank you and we recognize you. You are heroes always, but especially right now.

You can honor the mothers in your life while supporting Adira in two ways:

  • Donate in their honor and we’ll send them an ecard with a special message from you. Just write their name, email and any message in the acknowledgment form on our special Mother’s Day donate page and we’ll send the card on your behalf.
  • Do your Mother’s Day shopping through our Amazon Smile link or through Giving Assistant, with Adira Foundation as the designated recipient.

Tributes to mothers

Asia: "I am a single mom and all I could think about was who will be there for them."

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018. Apparently I have had this since I was 13 but my body never really reacted to it until 2018 when I turned 31. The challenges that I faced with this was not really a challenge. It was more of a fear. I am a single mom and all I could think about was who will be there for them. I thought of every negative aspect but never anything positive. As I became use to this minor setback I realize I was stronger, more determined and I was able to overcome any obstacles. MS can be scary and take control of your body, but you can never let it beat you. Take it from me: I will never be defeated. I have had MS for almost two years now and I am a dance teacher for a majorette dance team and I teach praise dance team as well as perform. I work full time and enjoy every moment with my kids. MS can be scary but it’s all in what you make it.

Marilyn: "Our mother’s gift to us was her grace, and an understanding that with love and devotion, you must be willing to rise above and find a patience that endures the greatest kind of change. "

marilyns mother and father
Marilyn’s mother and father

My mother, who was from the “greatest” generation was a surgical nurse and started her lifelong commitment to care and nurturing during WWII. She wasn’t overseas. She worked in a city hospital and because of her education and managerial know-how she rose in rank to supervise nursing units and teach. It was difficult to grasp how my mother, who loved to read, played piano and so elegantly floated through life became her own worst enemy living with significant dementia. She would forget places, names, expressions—all so out of character for this remarkable woman. I remember how she would dress to go out with my father, grab her pearl clutch and kiss us goodbye. When our father died, mom’s health started to more quickly deplete, and my sister with all the vigor and discipline that embodied my mother, Nancy now possessed in her head and heart. It was a difficult journey and Nancy as the primary care giver, even with support, dealt with the loss in a different way than me.

Caregivers are often loving family members, like my mother and Nancy. Our mother’s gift to us was her grace and an understanding that with love and devotion, you must be willing to rise above and find a patience that endures the greatest kind of change.

Kelli: "While she was still grieving my grandpa's death, she found out she had Parkinson's, too."

Kelli’s grandma with grandchildren

Almost everything about my grandmother and her life inspires me. She was my grandpa’s primary caregiver. She was devoted. She organized his medicines, appointments, medical paperwork, meals and social calendar. She drove him everywhere and helped him around, physically. She thought of the smallest things that could make him more comfortable, like keeping straws and napkins in her purse, or sewing a pouch onto his walker to keep handkerchiefs handy. And then, while she was still grieving my grandpa’s death, she found out she had Parkinson’s, too.

If Mennonites would have allowed women to be pastors, I think that would have been my grandma’s calling. But she never got too hung up on that. She served on lots of committees and gave back wherever she could. Last year, she wasn’t up to traveling to church each week, but she had a new minister who had been a voice major in school. So she asked her to come by and sing hymns to her. I loved that.

Honor a mother in your life with an ecard