|Posted on May 15, 2017 at 6:50 AM|
Yesterday was another lovely day here in Minnesota featuring azure blue skies, a warm temperature and birds twittering thanksgiving for spring in full bloom. But more importantly, it was a day of celebrating mothers. It was made even more special for me because I got to spend part of the day with my middle son and his family!
Celebrations of motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the United States date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. The official Mother’s Day holiday arose as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children, and began to actively promote this event.
By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Each year at this time, in addition to reminiscing about my own years as a mother, I fondly remember my mother Cleo. She needed a lot of patience to raise me – I have been told I was a bit unruly as a young girl! But Mom nurtured me and instilled faith in me as I grew, and later she became a valued friend I could turn to with any question.
My mother accomplished a lot of things in her life besides raising me – she served as nurse in the US Army and at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and she staffed the nurse’s office at my grade school for many years. She was an avid knitter, creating many items to be sold at our annual church bazaar, and she helped construct costumes for my high school’s musical productions. She wasn’t perfect, of course, but I know she tried her best to raise me as a faithful, loving person. Mom died in 1992, but she is not forgotten. I think of her each time I use her old Pfaff sewing machine, and I treasure the flag I received when she was buried at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.
Mothers are unique and they have different skills and talents. I think most mothers struggle with some aspect of parenting, and of course they all make mistakes along the way. I know I was not the perfect mother. There were so many things I did not know. There were lots of times that I just became overwhelmed with parenting and I didn’t do the best thing for my children. Yet despite my failings as a parent, all three of my boys turned out well and I am proud of the men they have become. I have to credit the guidance of God and our Blessed Mother Mary for that! Mary serves as the perfect example of a mother, and she is always available to us in prayer for guidance.
I encourage you to connect with your mother this week if you can to thank her, or perhaps you could say a prayer for her. And don’t forget those “spiritual” mothers as well – teachers, aunts, in-laws, neighbors, co-workers, etc - the many other women who have guided you and provided love and encouragement for you in some way on your journey through life. As the saying goes, God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created mothers!
Thank you, mothers, not only for the gift of life but also for your endless love and support!
Have a blessed Monday!
If you like this meditation, please share it with others. And if you have any suggestions for topics for me to address in this blog, I’d love to hear from you. I write this blog for YOU.
You can also subscribe to my weekly emails – just send your name and email address to [email protected] and I will get you added to the list!