Celebrating a mother’s teachings and values in a poem

May 19, 2021

This is the third and final article in a special series from the staff at the Community Foundation honoring Mother-figures in their lives by Contributing Editor: Rebecca Mandell
Development Manager, Corporate & Foundation Partnerships,
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
To read the first article in this series, click here. 
To read the second article in this series, click here. 

Honorifics in my family are celebrated in poetry, particularly on my mother’s side
So to celebrate my mother dearest, in rhyming words this story resides…

Waking her four-year old up before dawn
Fridays away from school and Christmas Day from then on
To help seniors get what they needed to eat
Having my own job – bagging bread and bagels – was neat

Joining Nanny and Gaga at Meals on Wheels
Was only the beginning of chasing Mom’s heels
From PTA meetings to book sales and bake sales we’d go
Toys for tots, planting flowers, there’s more I don’t know

And as we got older there was more to see, do, and learn
She taught me that this life I had, was one I didn’t earn
Family vacations, our playset in the yard, were not guaranteed
Extra things were just that – things I’d want, but not need

But even things we need – food, shelter, and health
Are much too scarce for those without wealth
At shelters and pantries, we heard stories both happy and sad
We saw that not everyone had what we had

A glimpse of another life, so close yet so far
Its not fair, its not right, yet still here we are
But we mustn’t just wallow, there’s work to be done
Tikkun olam – repair the world – it takes everyone

Doing good, giving back, taking care of each other
Were values instilled in me by my mother
And when she retired from her medical career
She pondered how she’d give back, most effectively, in this new frontier

And as she tends to do, with all things she does
She went to the library to research the cause
This time the book said “If your time and skills are high worth
Go back to work, take your earnings, and give it to others on Earth”

So now she’s back at work, for the things she cares about most
With a specific goal in mind, she’s totally engrossed
She quite modest and doesn’t often tell
But now the cat’s out of the bag and I can’t help but kvell

At Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, our Fund for Women & Girls invests in sustainable solutions that support the safety, health, and economic security of women and girls across our region. Click here to learn more about how to get involved.