Mothers stars of the holiday

Of the days in a year, Sunday is but one of 365.

For many, it is truly a special day.

It’s Mother’s Day.

Since 1914, it has been an official holiday in the U.S. The celebration of motherhood, however, can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The day has different meanings for area women.

For Julie Odum, who owns and operates Flora design studio, it’s a chance to catch her breath after completion of one of her most hectic weeks.

“It’s one of our busiest holidays, outside of Valentine’s Day,” Odum said. “It takes a lot of organization for the preordering and preplanning.”

Her shop is in business for its third Mother’s Day.

The volume, she said, “has grown by about 20 percent every year. We have extra freelance designers who come in and (delivery) drivers who help.”

Not all who order are seeking delivery.

“We have a lot of men who pick up and hand deliver,” Odum said. “That can be a nice sentiment.”

Everything happens in advance at Flora.

“We’re closed on Mother’s Day because I’m a mother and want time with my girls,” Odum said. “To share the day with my mom and grandmother and my girls is really special.”

One item that won’t be at the Odum residence is a floral arrangement. John Odum doesn’t order flowers, but his wife said, “We’re gardeners and he likes to do a big potted container for me.”


The biggest honor

Mahomet’s Kristi Hart finds a different feel for Mother’s Day from when she was a child.

“First and foremost, I’m a mother,” she said. “Having children is the biggest honor and best thing I’ve ever done.

“It also means I can thank my mom and remind her that she is special and know she is loved very much.”

Hart’s views have changed as her children have gotten older.

“I see the young people they are becoming and I know my husband, Nathan, and I are doing and teaching them to be good, kind and productive adults.”


Change in views

Mahomet’s Kathy Tock has seen a transformation in her thoughts about the holidays over the years.

As a child, Tock said, “I celebrated it for my mom just because it was supposed to be done, and it was special for her. When I became a mother, I viewed it as just another Hallmark way to sell cards. I felt if I chose to be a mother, then I was supposed to be the best mother I could be. I didn’t need to be celebrated.

“Now that I am much older, I have come to view it differently. I am lucky enough to still have my mother and appreciate the values she instilled in me as well as giving me her love and dedication. More importantly though, those traits that she taught me are now being taught to my young grandson by my daughter. This is what I find important to recognize on Mother’s Day, handing down the love and high morals from one generation to the next.”


Greater appreciation

Mahomet hairstylist Kelsie Donley Briggs now has a different view of the day.

“To me, Mother’s Day is a time to appreciate and reflect on all your mom has done and continues to do for you,” Briggs said. “In my case, that’s a lot to reflect on because my mother is truly an amazing woman. Some people view Mother’s Day as a day off for moms, however there is nothing I’d rather do on Mother’s Day than hang out with my daughter and family.

“Now that I’m a mom myself, I have a greater appreciation for all moms. It’s the toughest job ever, but also the most rewarding. What is so cool about Mother’s Day now is that not only do I get celebrated for being a mother, but my sisters, Kendra and Kaylea, are celebrated as well. My feelings for Mother’s Day are greater because I now realize a small portion of what my mom has done for me (the youngest of four children) that I am now doing for my daughter.”

Briggs’ favorite Mother’s Day memory occurred before her mind-set was focused on being a mom.

“When I was pregnant (two years ago) with my daughter (Ellie), my husband, Cody, got me a card that said ‘rock that bump mama’ and wrote a special note that was very sweet,” she said. “It meant so much  because it was very unexpected as I didn’t think anything about being a mom while pregnant. It made it so real that I was about to enter the ‘mom club.’”


Gamut of emotions

Mahomet’s Bridget Broihahn has run the gamut of emotions in past years as the holiday approached.

It was a fun time as she became the mother of two young children, but her husband, Brent, passed away in 2001, a few weeks before Mother’s Day.

Broihahn was consumed by sadness until she went through one of his desk drawers that year closer to the holiday.

“I found Mother’s Day cards he bought, and it made me feel, ‘Wow, he’s thinking of me,’” she said. “I kept them.”

Now, her two children celebrate twice with her.

“As a single mom, they celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with me,” she said.

Her advice is to think of others on Mother’s Day.

“If you think someone might be alone, call them or take a potted plant to them,” she said. “It could mean the world.”


Wonderful memories

Alice Dollahon from Mahomet thinks about the example set for her.

“My mother meant so much to me,” Dollahon said. “She is gone, but I have wonderful memories.

“She taught me to live a good, productive and helpful life. I learned it by observing her. I never heard her say a harsh word about anybody.”

As a mother to two adult children, Dollahon now also has four grandchildren.

“When our first grandchild (Shannon) was born (in May, 26 years ago), my deep dark blue irises had just come into bloom,” she  said. “I picked a bouquet to take to Karen in the hospital. From then on, I called them my Shannon irises.”


Celebrate her

Mahomet’s Stefani (Redding) Tobias said, “Once I became a mother, I realized that it’s not all about the gifts you give or where you celebrate with your mom that matters. It’s just celebrating her and letting her know how much you appreciate her that is the most important thing.”

When Tobias’ two oldest children were 7 and 2, they made an effort to create a Mother’s Day delight.

“They got up and made me burnt, dry toast and orange juice,” Tobias said. “They were so proud of themselves for getting up and making that to surprise me. They tried so hard to make me breakfast all by themselves to show me how much they love me. That’s what they said when they gave it to me. It was special to me that they cared enough to try.”


Day can be a struggle

Like Broihahn, Mahomet’s Jessie DeHaan has found Mother’s Day can be a struggle. Her husband, Randy, passed away nearly 12 years ago.

“The kids were so young, he wasn’t here to guide them (through traditions),” said DeHaan, who added that the family connection has stayed strong.

“It’s a day we spend together,” she said.

This Mother’s Day will be special. Her daughter Morgan, who is finishing her junior year at Illinois, spent the semester studying abroad in Sweden. She returned home last week.

“She was gone four months,” DeHaan said. “We did Facetime and a lot of texting, so it didn’t feel she was that far away.”

Categories (2):News, People


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