Mother's Day Reminiscence

In this very unusual time of Social Distancing, it is particularly hard to show our love and appreciation on a holiday such as Mother’s Day.  We may not be able to visit our loved ones at senior’s homes, to give mothers and grandmothers the hugs and kisses they deserve, or to meet for special meals or parties to show them how much we care.  It seems appropriate, then, to look back to a simpler time and a special celebration of Mother’s Day

And Grandmas Too…

 

While we honor all our mothers

with words of love and praise.

While we tell about their goodness

and their kind and loving ways.

We should also think of Grandma,

she’s a mother too, you see…

For she mothered my dear mother

as my mother mothers me.

Women's Branch Founding Members 1926

The AUUC has always celebrated women and their contributions to our families and our society.  From having a Women’s Branch focusing on community and political work, to celebrations of International Women’s Day, to active leadership in the organization, women have always contributed and worked in many meaningful ways at the Hall. Growing up, Mother’s Day was always a day I looked forward to and now remember with fondness. The Hall hosted a celebration of Mothers and Grandmothers, usually on a beautiful warm and sunny afternoon, with the year-end recital by the School of Dance and a Mother’s Day tea.

My Mother Kept a Garden

 

My Mother kept a garden,

a garden of the heart,

She planted all the good things

that gave my life its start.

She turned me to the sunshine

and encouraged me to dream,

Fostering and nurturing

the seeds of self-esteem…

And when the winds and rain came,

she protected me enough—

But not too much because she knew

I’d need to stand up strong and tough.

 

Her constant good example

always taught me right from wrong—

Markers for my pathway

that will last a lifetime long.

 

I am my Mother’s garden.

I am her legacy—

And I hope today she feels the love

reflected back from me.

Above: Poetry writing contest winners from the AUUC School, ca. 1960s, at the annual Mother’s Day Concert and Tea. From left to right: Mom: Colleen Babak, Daughter: Janet Babak; Mom: Evelyn Bezubiak, Daughter: Julie Bezubiak; Aunt: Sonia (Rutka) Ostash, Niece: Debbie Wishinski

I’m sure many people will remember making fancy rolled sandwiches on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon - tuna, egg salad, ham and cheese on bread tinted green or pink, and arranged on plates for the dancers to serve after the concert. The tables were set upstairs with fancy plates and cups of pastel plaid design, and a vase of lilacs from the bush at the front of the Hall on each table.  That scent of lilacs is one of my most vivid memories from my childhood at the Hall!  The recital always included poems and songs in tribute to mothers and grandmothers, read by the children between dances and orchestra pieces. The older dancers were responsible for serving sandwiches, baked treats, tea and coffee after the performance - our opportunity to serve those women who organized and cared for us the rest of the year!

Beck family Mother’s Day Tea, 2019

At this most unusual time in our history, don’t forget the special women in your life.  Even though we can’t celebrate them as we did in the past, find a new way to let them know how much they are loved and appreciated.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of our special women!

AUUC Mother’s Day Concert and Tea, 1965

Article written by:

Janice Beck

AUUC Richmond Branch

A selection of poems, songs and dances for Mother’s Day.

 

Doroha Moya Mamo is a beautiful and simple tribute to one’s mother from the Canadian prairies. Beverly Dobrinsky, AUUC Barvinok Choir Director, learned this from AUUC member, Bill Uhryn in Rycroft Alberta. He is singing the opening verse solo with Beverly’s voice coming in with violin accompaniment. Tse Tak Bulo, 2016, http://www.zeellia.com

 

 

Links to videos from the 2015 Spring Concert at the AUUC Hall.

Doroha Moya MamoBill Uhryn, Beverly Dobrinsky
00:00 / 02:38
Dovbush School (formerly AUUC School of Dance) performing a girls’ Hutsul dance.
Dovbush Dancers performing Pleskach.
Dovbush Dancers performing Kyivsky Parubky.

Mom

 

Mom, for all these years

I’m sure you’ve had

a heart full of hopes and dreams

and special longings of your own.

 

And you’ve always listened and shared

my dreams, my wishes, and my heartaches

as if they were the only ones in the world…

 

That takes a lot of love, Mom

I understand that now

and I hope you realize

how much I thank you…

how much I love you…

and how much I wish you happiness.

Il y a des milliers d’étoiles

 

Il y a des milliers d’étoiles

dans le ciel

Il y a des milliers de poissons

dans la mer

Il y a des milliers de fleurs

dans les champs

Mais, il n’y a aucune maman comme toi!

There are thousands of Stars

 

There are thousands of stars

In the sky

There are thousands of fish

In the sea

There are thousands of flowers

in the fields

But there’s only one mother like you!

Ridna maty moya (Рідна мати моя)

Audio link to Kvitka version online

English Translation:

 

Dearest Mother of Mine

 

Dearest Mother of Mine, you had many sleepless nights

You led me to the fields next to the village

And on my long journey, you saw me off at dawn

And gave me an embroidered towel for luck

 And on my long journey, you saw me off at dawn

And gave me an embroidered towel for luck and destiny

 

Let the dewy road blossom on it

Along with the green glens and groves full of nightingales

And your faithful, kind, motherly smile

And your sad, dear eyes

 And your faithful, kind, motherly smile

And your sad, dear, blue eyes

 

I'll take this towel, and unfold it as if destiny

In the quiet, rustling meadows, and chirping oak-woods

And on this little towel, will live the familiar pain

My childhood, separation, and unconditional love

 And on this little towel, will live all the familiar pain

My childhood, separation, and your motherly love

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