MOTHER’S DAY, is a holiday honoring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places around the world. Mothers often receive gifts on this day, gifts that usually run the gamut of flowers, candy, calls from children who live far away, or a trip to the movies or dinner, just to name a few ways that we show our mothers our appreciation of them. Mother’s Day celebrated in America is observed on the second Sunday in the month of May.

In the United States, Mother’s Day is copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the Civil War with a call to unite women against war. She wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level:

“Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The great and general interests of peace.”

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Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother’s Day for Peace. But, another woman who worked to get the holiday on the calendar was Ann Jarvis, who working to improve sanitation through Mother’s Work Days, and after organizing women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.


When Jarvis died, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother’s Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in the Andrews Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) Church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine. The 1912 General Conference of The Methodist Episcopal Church, at the suggestion of delegates from Andrews M.E. Church, recognized Jarvis as the founder and advocated the celebration of the holiday. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother’s Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honour of those mothers whose sons had died in war. Nine years after the first official Mother’s Day holiday, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother’s Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. holidays.

[Information courtesy of Wikipedia Encyclopedia]

For many people, Mother’s Day is a day to take Mom out and give her the most special day of the year.

Some of you have lost your mothers, some of you still have your mothers. The wearing of a white rose pinned to the chest indicates to knowledgeable people, that one’s mother has passed from this world; the wearing of a red rose indicates that one’s mother still resides among the living.

Whatever we do, it is always a special reminder that our mothers have made a profound impact on all of us.

Whether she is a mother who has given us a hands-off approach in raising us, whether she has coddled us to utter distraction, whether she is a mother who has given us unconditional love, whether she is a mother who has abandoned us, and was maybe  the worst mother a child could have, after all is said and done, she was still MOTHER.

Some of us still live in close physical proximity to our mothers; some of us live halfway across the country. Some of us can’t wait to call our mothers and tell them of the latest news and gossip of the daily events of our lives; some of us feel that we cannot get far enough away from our mothers to obtain the peace we thought we would never have, if only we could hurry up and grow up fast so we could go out and have our own places to do what we pleased, when we wanted to do it, however we wanted to do it, wherever we wanted to do it.

But, there is no underestimating the effect our mothers have on us, especially we adult children. Some of us have grown up over the years saying that we will never raise our children the way our mother’s raised us, but, time after time, we may find ourselves doing the very same things our mother’s did in raising us—things that we said we would never do.

Some ways that our mother’s have handled life’s curves may not sit well with many of us, but, in the end, many mothers did the best they could. Afterall, they were not given a self-explanatory manual on how to raise the proper child, and in many cases, they were writing the program, albeit, their own take on it, as they were going along.

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But, such is life.

Some of us have not seen our mothers in years. Moving away, marrying are but a few ways we can have distance preclude us from seeing our mothers regularly. On the otherhand, some of us have chosen to sever physical ties with our mothers because of some emotional rift we experienced with her. Some of us may even feel that our mothers don’t need the occasional phone call if just to say,  “Hello, Mother, how are you doing?” But, never underestimate the power of communication. Make no mistake about, whether you and your mother were on the very best of speaking terms, or not, once your mother leaves this world, that will be it. A very important part of yourself will be gone.

There is an old saying:

“Give me my flowers while I yet live, for tomorrow, I may die.”

This Sunday, May 13, 2007, is Mother’s Day.

Passion Flower

If you and Mom are on  good speaking terms, by all means, call her up, take her out to dinner, a play, a movie, a walk in the park.

If you and Mom are not on the best of speaking terms, practice while standing in front of the mirror what you might say to her when you pick up that phone to call her. Saying the words, “I love you”, may be very hard to do, but, at least it would be worth it to try. Today may be the last day you may have to be able to speak to her.

Try to tell her “I love you” as often as you can. I know, I know, it’s real hard to get those words to come out and you may feel that she should already know that you love her.

But, remember, everyone wants to hear those three most precious words in the English language, and no one, no matter how much they may protest, does not want to not hear , especially a mother of a child, that you love them.

They may know that you love them in all that you do for them, but, it would cheer them up to no end to hear their daughter, or son, say:

“I love you, Mother. Thanks for all you’ve done for me. You are the greatest. How did I ever happen to be blessed with such a great Mom?”

To those of you who have lost your mothers, my condolences and I hope that you have been able to have had as many happy moments with her that you could have.

To those of you who still have your mothers, love her as much as you can.

Once she is gone, all you will have left will be memories.

Try starting now, if you have not been doing so, to create as many wonderful memories now that you can.

Whatever your relationship with your mother, you only get one chance in this world with her.

Whatever the day brings you, have a Happy Mother’s Day.



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2 responses to “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

  1. Pingback: Mother's Day « The Blog and the Bullet

  2. Pingback: Mother’s Day « The Mustard Seed

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