“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, the founder of Mother’s Day
OK, Mom! No card or chocolates for you this year!
When I was thinking about writing a Mother's Day post, I wanted to do something about how the celebration came to be. And I will. But first, I have to introduce you all to my own mother, Alice Kennedy.
The photo on the left was taken when she was in her late teens. She added the color somehow and gave it to my father.
I took the one on the right at a family celebration of some kind. And I'll take some more photos when I see her tomorrow after my Open House!
My mother is an amazing woman who raised her large brood with wisdom and a keen sense of humor. She saw us through scraped knees, falling out of trees and, in once case, a tornado flying over the house (although I missed that one) with a bunch of neighborhood children and dogs in our basement.
She is an artist as well as a mother. I have several of her works in my own collection, including one where I posed with my first pet, a kitten named Bucket.
There are many of her gifts that I wish I'd inherited. She sews beautifully and has a wonderful sense of fashion. She has always had a great knack for choosing presents. And she could give advice, even unsolicited advice, in a way that you got it.
So how did we get to this Mother's Day on which we celebrate and honor our moms?
Well, there are traditions dating back to the ancient Greeks. In most parts of the world throughout history, there has been some sort of Mom Appreciation custom. And while the tradition began to take hold in the Untied States in the 1880’s, Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West Virginia, is generally recognized as the mother of Mother’s Day in this country.
When her own mother died in 1905, the two had just quarreled and she reportedly felt pretty awful, It is said that she swore on her mother’s grave to establish a day to honor all mothers, living and dead.
After Anna enlisted the help of the Philadelphia department store owner, John Wanamaker, things began to take off, and by 1914, Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation establishing Mother’s Day to celebrate women’s roles in the family.
Ironically, Anna and her sister Ellsinore became disenchanted with the whole Mother’s Day thing by the 1920’s, feeling like it had become too commercialized and fake. The daughters spent their inheritance, and Anna was even arrested, protesting what this holiday had become.
Anna died in 1948 in poverty. She never married and never had children.
So I have to go and write my little hand-written note.