Mothers Day is the second Sunday in May, when we pause for a short while to acknowledge the most important person in the world–your mother. What follows is a short account about how it came to be.
Back on May 1, 1864 in the tiny town of Webster, West Virginia, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis gave birth to a little girl she named Anna Jarvis. The family moved to the short distance to Grafton, West Virginia in her childhood.
On May 12, 1907, two years after Annas mother died, Anna Jarvis organized a memorial to her mother at St. Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton–passing out 500 white carnations–and then made it her personal quest to establish Mothers Day as a recognized holidaywhich it became in 1914. The International Mothers Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate Anna Jarvis accomplishment.
But from there, an interesting plot twist takes overin the 1920s Anna Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mothers Day International Association, claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May, and was even arrested once for disturbing the peace. She invested her family inheritance campaigning against the holidayuntil she died blind and penniless in 1948.
According to Anna Jarvis New York Times obituary, she became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said, A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother-and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment!
Anna Jarvis never married and had no children. She died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and is buried next to her mother in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Today, Mothers Day ranks only behind Christmas and Valentines Day in terms of spending–it is credited with nearly $15.8 billion in retail sales: flowers, restaurant (it is the number one eating-out holiday of the year), jewelry, and heaven help us if we should ever forget–greeting cards.
And Mothers Day is todaythe second Sunday in May. Thus, unless youve already done this, you need to go now and buy a printed card, so you dont have to write one yourself, and take a box of your favorite candy to your Mom maybe shell give you a glass of milk to wash it down with.
But dont worry about embittering your twenty-first-century mother. Our Moms already know were brats–and love us in spite of it. However, they might be troubled should you let the day pass without at least acknowledging, no matter how superficially, some of the suffering weve put them through.
If your Moms no longer with you, then acknowledge somebody elses mothermaybe the mother of your grandchildren, or the mother of your neighbors kids, or the mother of your niece or nephews. Just do it.
Happy Mothers Day.
It Just Makes Sense.