I am giving myself permission to do nothing this weekend. The week has been filled with so many projects, I will need a vacation after this quarantine is over! I dream about staring at the ocean with an umbrella drink in my hand. But it is time to slow down a bit and enjoy this Mother’s Day weekend!
Who started Mother’s Day and why? Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis died.
Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. (from Wikipedia).
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. Owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday.
My mother passed away in 2014. She was 89 years old and was suffering from dementia. Dad insisted Mom stay at home and we had a wonderful caregiver who took excellent care of my mother.
It is hard for me to describe my mother, as she wasn’t a warm and cuddly type of person. Mom had a sense of duty and a great deal of pride. She was rather strict with the girls in the family as she didn’t want us to become “fast steppers”. It was important for her to instill lady-like tendencies~~no chewing gum, no drinking beer from a bottle, no swearing or dressing provocatively. Education and grades were important to her~~anything less than an A wasn’t acceptable. She had high expectations of all 5 of us.
I remember her lectures and often hear her in my head. She didn’t wear her heart on her sleeve and she wasn’t an easy person to get to know. But she made sure we were well-behaved, dressed appropriately and had everything we needed for a happy childhood.
My mother loved art~~ to paint and draw. I have fond memories of doing that with her. She could turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. With little money, she could transform a piece of furniture she found on the side of the road to a priceless heirloom.
While I was in high school, Mom and Dad purchased and restored a 1774 historical home in Norwich, Connecticut. During the restoration, Mom carefully removed layers and layers of wallpaper, eventually getting to the first original one. She sent the piece she retrieved to Schumacher and they replicated the design, naming it “Norwich”. The restoration of this old home was their pride and joy. It was a wonderful place to bring our friends.
As the empty nesting years were approaching, Mom went back to school and then started a new career. She was practical. After 25 years, she retired from the State of Connecticut and enjoyed her pension until her death.
When I had my children, I took the lessons learned from my mother, but I adjusted them to fit my life. I would like to think I gleaned the best from her and then improved upon them for my three.
I have had a big corporate career, own my own business and nothing has fulfilled my life as much as being a mother. The blessings and love that my children provide cannot be put into words. Every day I am grateful for their presence in my life.
Wishing you a happy Mother’s Day~~whether you are a mother or have mothered others. Our weather is beautiful, albeit a bit warm, but I understand snow storms are happening in the east. Wherever you are, have a safe and lovely weekend.