Mother’s Day is peeking around the corner and I have a happy conundrum to meet. Since the passing of my mother, nay more, even before, woman around the world have embraced me in motherhood. I would have to buy out the local flower shops to send all these beautiful women flowers on Sunday May 8th. Ironically, Anna M. Jarvis, who, in 1908, began campaigning for an official Mother’s Day, which was declared by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, was irked at the commercialization of flowers on Mother’s Day. The original intent of Mother’s Day was peace and memorial. Maybe a white, red, or pink carnation can be shared, but the flower industry that appeared to be exploiting Mother’s Day was the nemesis of Anna Jarvis.
Although motherhood has been acknowledged religiously for centuries, it was the promotion of peace that instigated an official holiday. Decades before Anna Jarvis, came Julia Ward Howe, who penned a Mother’s Day proclamation in 1870 after cringing at the horrors of the American Civil War. Julia Ward Howe wrote:
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.
Life seems to be full of learning, unlearning, and re-learning. Motherhood plays a powerful role in this exercise. I’ve learned from my mother, unlearned what I was taught when I was off on my own, and re-learned from my own daughters about deep-rooted issued of life, truth, and love. With motherhood being so all pervasive, so unattached to time and age, I can’t doubt a higher source of Mother, God.