Mother’s Day …

Mother’s 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 Anna’s mother died, Anna Jarvis organized a memorial to her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton–passing out 500 white carnations–and then made it her personal quest to establish “Mother’s Day” as a recognized holiday–which it became in 1914. The International Mother’s Day Shrine was established in Grafton to commemorate Anna Jarvis’ accomplishment.

But from there, an interesting plot twist takes over–in the 1920s Anna Jarvis incorporated herself as the Mother’s 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 holiday–until 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, Mother’s Day ranks only behind Christmas and Valentine’s 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 Mother’s Day is today–the second Sunday in May.   Thus, unless you’ve already done this, you need to go now and buy a printed card, so you don’t have to write one yourself, and take a box of your favorite candy to your Mom … maybe she’ll give you a glass of milk to wash it down with.

But don’t worry about embittering your twenty-first-century mother. Our Moms already know we’re 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 we’ve put them through.

If your Mom’s no longer with you, then acknowledge somebody else’s mother–maybe the mother of your grandchildren, or the mother of your neighbor’s kids, or the mother of your niece or nephews. Just do it.

Happy Mother’s Day.

It Just Makes Sense.

3 Responses to “Mother’s Day …”

  1. Български телефонен

    Great article. Perfect timing for the events.

  2. Bijouterie says:

    Bijou Terie

    Great article, really enjoyed it. Thanks.

  3. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about the centuries that span from Adam to Noah. Adam’s surviving sons, Seth and Cain, go their separate ways and then, in the words of Spencer Tracy’s character in Inherit the Wind, the book “goes into a lot of `begats.’ `And Aphraxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber’ and so on.” Lamech begets Noah, but before we get to the ark and the Flood, we’re told (Genesis 6.4):

    “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God come in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

    It’s an intriguing passage, but sadly lacking in detail. Recently, author C.D. Sutherland has stepped in to fill the gaps. The Chronicles of Susah transports us to a world with all the elements of other magical lands like Oz or the Harry Potter universe: a gifted protagonist, a dangerous journey, a wise old mentor, and of course, giants in the earth.

    The Lost Dragoneer is the second and most recent installment in the series. Susah, the daughter of Noah, has little interest in her father’s insane boat building project. She has left home and put her ability to control animals with her mind in the service of the Dragoneer Corps, a sort of dragon-powered air force for the nation of Sethica. As The Lost Dragoneer opens, the Sethicans have just won an epic battle against an army of ogres. It is a bittersweet victory for Susah, however. Most of the dragons are dead or dying and Susah must rebuild the corps. Locating and taming wild dragons is the easy part, though. Susah must also confront vicious ogres, bloodsucking trolls, temptation by Satan, and her own vanity.

    Politically, Susah’s world has much that is familiar. The story takes place in a time of transition. The old system of tribal government has given way to a Council of Elders, which spends most of its time taxing and regulating – and undermining the military. Much of what we learn about the political situation comes from the hotel owner Keenan. When Susah tells him how lovely his hotel is, he replies proudly, in a pointed reference to President Obama, “I built it.”

    But it’s the way Sutherland intertwines his tale with the Bible that is the unique feature of The Lost Dragoneer. “I began with the Scriptures,” he explained to me. “Anything in black in white must remain and is off-limits to alterations in my story telling. Using that approach, everything between those gaps are gray-areas and by definition free-game for my extreme fiction. After some of my fans started calling my first book Antediluvian Steampunk, I agreed the term is more descriptive than just `Religious Sci/Fi Fantasy'”

    Sutherland says that some religious traditionalists have chafed at the technology that he injects into Biblical times: there are blasters as well as swords, skyscrapers as well as castles. Nevertheless, I think most Jews and Christians will appreciate the familiar people and places from the core of their faith. Everyone, even jaded atheists such as myself, will appreciate the captivating story.

    Based on some internal chronology, I reckon that The Lost Dragoneer takes place 80 years before the rains start to fall and the animals come on by twosies-twosies. That affords ample opportunities for sequels: I look forward to many more installments in The Chronicles of Susah.

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