Years ago, I received a Mother’s Day card from my first-born daughter, who is now a first-time mom as a result of adoption; we are thrilled for her, and for the young boy who has joined her family and ours. I saved the card in a special place, in my home and in my heart…and I read it often. The card read, “I know a woman of strength and beauty. I have watched her for years…she is my mother.” What greater tribute could a mother receive?
We are blessed! My husband and I have brought three wonderful young people into the world that care for, and about, others. They are independent thinkers; they are bright and articulate. As a mom, I have been fortunate to celebrate many Mother’s Days – but where did this all begin?
Mother’s Day in the United States is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It celebrates motherhood and it is a time to appreciate mothers and mother figures. Many people give gifts, cards, flowers, candy, a meal in a restaurant or other treats to their mother and mother figures, including grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers. We have all had moms at one time or another, so we all have something to celebrate, even if it is a warm, or perhaps not so warm, memory.
Why do we honor the moms in our lives? Many believe that two women, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis were important in establishing the tradition of Mother’s Day in the United States. Other sources say that Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the late 1800s. Her sons paid tribute to her each year and urged others to honor their mothers.
Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for Mother’s Day to be celebrated each year to encourage pacifism and disarmament amongst women. It continued to be held in Boston for about ten years under her sponsorship, but died out after that.
In 1907, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her mother, Ann Jarvis, in Grafton, West Virginia. Ann Jarvis had organized “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to improve health and cleanliness in the area where she lived. Anna Jarvis launched a quest for Mother’s Day to be more widely recognized. Her campaign was later financially supported by John Wanamaker, a clothing merchant from Philadelphia. http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/mothers-day
Has Mother’s Day become another ‘economic venture?’ Mother’s Day expenditures on flowers exceed Valentine’s Day by 4%. What about the cards, candy, and other special gifts? I love flowers…just like other moms. How else can you honor mom? You can send a card like the one that my daughter did! You can serve breakfast in bed, do the laundry, the dishes, or mow the lawn. For moms without families nearby, you can offer to help a mom in your area by ‘paying it forward.’ Let’s celebrate the moms in our lives…and let’s make it special. They gave us life!