The modern-day holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Anna wanted to honor her mother for the sacrifices all mothers make for their children.
“After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908, she organized the first Mother’s Day celebration and the same day thousands of people attended a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.
“Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis – who remained unmarried and childless her whole life – resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.
“Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a personal celebration between mothers and families… Once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.
“Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florist and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that used the name “Mother’s Day”, eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American Calendar.” (https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day)
Today we celebrate the holiday with gifts, cards and flowers for our mothers and we often take them out for a meal (that they don’t have to cook). FYI … Did you know that more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year?
Mother’s Day is bitter sweet for me, as my own Mother died at the young age of 42 when I was just 21. I don’t have the precious memories of her as an adult and did not have time to spend with her when I was a young wife and mother. We never shared a spa day together or even a lunch out. She wasn’t around to enjoy her granddaughter and to watch her grow up. I can only imagine what a loving grandmother she would have been. But, I do have wonderful memories of this beautiful woman, who always wore bright red lipstick, hated to cook and loved to play golf.
My father was a photographer who worked for the National Geographic magazine. He took one of my favorite pictures of my mom and me. It was published in the magazine but I’m not sure what year. She and I are standing in front a huge piece of amethyst stone. (Please note: my hairdos have gotten no better as I age).
Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers. And to those of you, like me, who have lost their mother’s…may you find peace and comfort in your memories of her.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.