After Anna Jarvis mother died in 1905, Anna conceived a way of honoring her motherʼs sacrifice by creating a special day to remember her mother. She would start the argument that American holidays were biased toward male achievements so she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. She was able to gain financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker and they set out to market her dream with the first official Motherʼs Day in 1908.
What I find interesting about this story isnʼt itʼs origin but rather the same energy that Anna exerted to ultimately have President Woodrow Wilson officially establish Motherʼs Day in 1914, she would give toward organizing a campaign against Motherʼs Day. She was simply disgusted with all the commercialization. She launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Motherʼs Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948, Anna had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.
I suppose Anna needed to be careful what she wished for. How this day lint rolled into a full-blown commercialized day.
As this “holiday” approached, I’ve seen funny videos of Mom’s asking for mimosas, a day to sleep in or to garden, new phones, pedicures, pet-free responsibilities, or a trip to the beach. Hallmark can sentimentally mark this day with tears or laughter – because clearly there’s a divide between knowing that a mother’s job is sometimes thankless but also it’s not a “job” at all – it’s an entrustment only given for a little while.
Today’s gift from my family is the best one. It’s TIME.
Time ALONE…to reflect.
Today, I know that I’m still standing despite angry words, limited sleep, ADD onset, sickness and algebra tutoring. I look back and say, just how did we get through that? and then I’m reminded on how God provided me with all that I needed to hang on or know when to ask for help.
Today, I’m reminded that I was Chosen to grow someone beautiful. Not only was a child matched to us – but he or she was matched for us. I see that parenting a child is not only growing something beautiful for the world – but I am growing something beautiful in me. Each night I lay to rest all my short comings and missed marks and let each new day bring God’s grace to grow on. My peace depends on this. No forgiveness = No peace.
Today, I know that a calling to parent is God’s plan so that it’s not “all about me”. That this act of love is a way to pollinate so that humanity continues on and heaven shows itself on earth – even if it’s just a peek.
Today I’m reminded that our family mantras matter. There’s a few mantras that help us give grace to one another. One that we use often “that everyone is working on something”. It reminds us that we are not perfect and that whatever mind virus, self-image, learning difference that we have – we are not here to judge. “Does what I’m about to say lift someone or pull someone down?” – this also helps us to be mindful with words. Keeping these mantras are important because they help me navigate the complicated and tricky (especially while driving in traffic).
Today I’m thankful for my Mom, sisters, aunts, cousins and dear friends that show me the way. They do hard things. They show me the way by swimming upward in a secular stream that flows down. They are authentic, hardworking, honest, not everyone gets a trophy – type of mom. They live their faith and values despite all – they march on.
Today, I hold close to heart those that are missing their mothers and mothers that are missing their children. I think of our Hannah, who made me a mother. It’s my hope that the pain of the separation or loss doesn’t cloud the mental skies of today. That the spirit, the love that is shared, is celebrated and honored. I feel Hannah’s influences all throughout my life.
I have to believe that Anna’s intentions to put Mom’s day on the calendar was for us to pause once a year to not only run around to find the perfect gift, or waiting in line for a seat at our favorite restaurant, but to look up to the tree of life and marvel at the fruit that we’ve grown through grace and with gratefulness.