Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I never really knew the origin of Mother's Day in the United States, for some reason I thought it was a son that came up with the idea as a way to honor his mother, so when I went in search of Mother's Day I was surprised to find that Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870, and in the years following the Proclamation, Ann Jarvis founded five Mothers' Day Work Clubs to improve sanitary and health conditions. Both these women believed that women should be active in society and on the political scene.
In 1907 Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother (Ann Jarvis had passed away two years earlier) in which she campaigned to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States.
In 1912 Anna Jarvis also trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and she created the Mother's Day International Association. She was specific about the location of the apostrophe, she wanted it to be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.
By 1914 Anna Jarvis was successful in having Mother's Day declared a national holiday, but she was very disappointed with the commercialization of the holiday by the 1920's.

It seems to me that's the American way, we commercialize everything. And I don't think that's such a horrible thing, it's the sign of a free country. And we are free to reject any and all commercialization. It's up to us to decide how much we want to buy into or participate in the commercialization of any holiday or Holy Day. We can render holidays meant to honor our military into nothing more than an excuse to throw barbeques, we can remember St. Valentine only by buying candy hearts and bouquets of flowers, we can honor the Birth of Christ with nothing more than an exchange of gifts, and we can honor His Resurrection with nothing more than Easter bonnets and chocolate bunnies. It's really not the fault of the greeting card industry (or any industry) if we choose to honor any holiday in a commercial way. In my case, I like a bit of commercialization, I like to exchange cards and gifts, I like to throw barbeques, I like dressing in various outfits to celebrate holidays and Holy Days, but I realize that's not the whole of it. And I realize that if those commercial gestures didn't exist, the sentiments, the meaning, the important significance behind the holidays and Holy Days still live on.

One of my favorite holidays is Mother's Day, and I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. On Saturday morning Ray and I got up early, we did some food shopping, and then we went to the garden center and bought some plants for the cemetery. In the afternoon we went there with my Aunt Florence and we planted geraniums on the graves of my Uncle Tom and cousin Jimmy (Florence's husband and son), and on my grandparents grave, and my Aunt Margie & Uncle Bill, and we stopped by Uncle Paul's grave (we usually don't plant on his grave because his family takes care of that), and last stop was my parent's grave. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, and I always love visiting the cemetery. It's quiet and peaceful, and almost park-like.
Later that evening Ray & I walked down the block to our favorite Greek restaurant for dinner.

Yesterday the kids came over, and also my Aunt Florence and my sister Diane (her son William is still in Scotland, and her husband Steve is away on business), and Ray barbequed hotdogs and hamburgers (first time this year) and it was delicious!
It's very rare that we remember to take pictures of all of us together but this time we remembered!

Lori holding Sophie, Erik holding Mia, Ray, myself, Brian with his fiancee Flora, Katie and down in front is Andrew, Jayden, and Ellie

Here's the new big sister:

('Love her pink shoes!)

Here's all the girls:

Flora with Diane behind her, Lori with Mia in front, myself holding Sophie, Ellie, Katie, Aunt Florence

And here's the boys ~ engrossed in their video game:

It was a great weekend!


  1. What a lovely day, Eileen! I loved seeing the pictures of the family! And your eyes- your beautiful Irish eyes- are seriously smiling!!! I see the joy on your face!:) Lori

  2. Great family photos, Eileen. Jayden is seriously concentrating with 'the boys'...funny scene!

  3. I agree, commercialism is not such a bad thing. For one thing, it reminds us all of what's coming up, and it promotes family togetherness!

    That's a great family picture! I wish we had thought to take one yesterday.

    Oh such a lovely Mother's Day you had :-) Great pictures/memories. Amen.
    Love to you

  5. I think it's great that you were able to get a family photo Eileen. Those seem to be hard er and harder to get around here. The last one that we have with my mom in it was Easter 07 or o8, but that's just too long ya know?
    I don't quite understand what the big deal with everyone posing for one photo is for cryin' out loud! Oh well glad you had a good weekend, we did too. It just ended too soon. Love Di ♥

  6. I enjoyed seeing the faces of your Mother's Day celebration. Such a good idea to get the pictures!

  7. What a beautiful new baby!! Love the name Sophia...I begged Sarah to name Maci's a beautiful name...for a gorgeous little girl!! What a lovely time spent with your family..Hope your Mother's Day was Wonderful just like you!!
    Hugs, Jerelene