By Ashley Rittenhouse
The Marietta Times
Photo submitted by Christine McVicar.
From left, Vicki McVicar-McDonie, Myrtie McVicar, Nancy McVicar and Christine McVicar pose for a photo during a Kentucky Derby party last year. Myrtie is the mother of the other three in the photo.
Mother's Day is a holiday on which children shower their mother with cards and flowers and sometimes enjoy a meal with her, but it's also a time when mothers and children stop to think how truly special their relationship with each other is.
Some local mothers and their children took time to share what's unique about their relationships and what they've learned from each other.
Did you know
25.6 percent of Mother's Day shoppers will buy their gifts online, up from 21.5 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation?
Mother's Day spending
The average person celebrating the holiday is expected to spend $152.52 on gifts, up from $140.73 last year.
Total spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion.
66.4 percent will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.2 billion.
33 percent will purchase a new blouse or sweater for their mother, spending $1.6 billion on clothing and accessories.
12.7 percent will buy electronics, shelling out a total of $1.6 billion.
54.3 percent of all celebrants will treat their mother to dinner or brunch, spending $3.4 billion.
Consumers will shell out $1.8 billion on gift cards and $1.3 billion on personal services such as a trip to a day spa.
Source: The National Retail Federation's 2012 Mother's Day consumer spending survey.
Susan Davison is Amy Mendenhall's mother, but Mendenhall thinks of her more as her best friend.
Davison, 64, has two children - Amy, 39 and Robert, 38. They all live in Marietta.
"It's good to have them close by. In fact, they live across the road from each other...and less than a mile from us," Davison said. "It's something I always wanted to do was be a mother and they've both been wonderful children."
Currently working as a second-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in Marietta, Mendenhall has followed in the footsteps of her mother, who retired from teaching about 12 years ago after 30 years on the job.
"She had a genuine love for teaching and made an impact on the kids and she definitely influenced me to become a teacher," Mendenhall said.
Between the two of them they have taught generations of children, but they've also learned a few things from each other.
"I think one of the things mom has always spoken to me about is that you always treat people the way you want to be treated and put out the best effort in what you do, even if its something you think will be difficult," Mendenhall said.
Davison learned from her children the importance of being a good listener, not being judgmental and most of all patience.
"Definitely patience," Davison said. "It was difficult at times after teaching all day to come home then help them with homework."
Mendenhall called her mother her best friend. The two can be found getting their hair done and shopping together every four to five weeks.
"I don't know what I'd ever do without her," Mendenhall said.
Christine McVicar knew from a young age that her mother, Myrtie, was unique and Myrtie has always known that her three daughters have their own unique personalities.
Christine, 63, of Cutler, is the oldest of the three. Her sister Vicki McVicar-McDonie lives in Covington, Ky. while Myrtie's other daughter Nancy McVicar lives in Vincent. Myrtie, 87, has lived in the Appletree Assisted Living facility in Barlow for about a year.
The family, including Myrtie McVicar's late husband Kenny, lived in many different places when he was in the military years ago.
"I was 5 turning 6 and we lived in Buckroe Beach, Va. in a trailer park right by the ocean and I can remember saying my mother was the craziest mother in the trailer park," said Christine McVicar. "She turned cartwheels and taught all of us to turn cartwheels."
Christine and her mother don't turn cartwheels these days, but they do spend time together when they get the chance. While Nancy has assumed the role of taking care of Myrtie's finances, Christine is the one who gets her mom out and about.
"Christine takes me places a lot. Usually she and some of the girls she taught school with meet and sometimes we go to lunch and sometimes we go shopping," Myrtie said. "I love all that stuff."
Christine retired in 2008 after teaching for 35 years and Myrtie, too, was a teacher. Christine said she picked up some valuable lessons from her mom.
"It's your own fault if you're not having a good time, if you're bored it's because you're a boring person and things always work out for the best," Christine said. "I think one of the differences between my mom and a lot of moms is she does tell you when you're running amok - that's what she calls it - but she never nags about it. When you come to a place to make a decision...once you've decided, even if it's not what she recommends, she doesn't harp on that. She just accepts and supports."
Living in the moment
For Reno resident Maribeth Browne, being a mother has been more fulfilling than she ever imagined it would be.
Her daughter Chelsea is a senior at Ohio University, her other daughter Abby is a senior at Marietta High School and plans to attend Ohio University, while her son Kyle, 21, is working this summer at Cedar Point amusement park.
She said it's bittersweet that they are now adults taking their own paths.
"This year will be the first time I think I may cry at the high school graduation," said Browne, 51. "I never did with Chelsea or Kyle because I still had Abby."
Browne said she and her children are very close and it's not unusual for them to pile into the car at a moment's notice and take a road trip somewhere.
The children have never been ones to worry about the future, something Browne said she hopes to emulate.
"They are very good at being in the moment whereas I find as adults most of us start thinking ahead to what we're doing tomorrow or our career path, but I've always found it great to spend time with my kids because they can shut that worry off and be in the moment," Browne said.
Her son Kyle said he considers his mom to be a great role model and he has learned from her never to give up, even when things get tough.
"Every thing that should've brought her down, she took it as motivation not to give up," he said. "She's someone to live through by example."