It’s Mother’s Day and although I sometimes have trouble with whole concept, which I once was convinced came about because a greeting card company needed sales. Turns out my cynicism button had been pushed because that’s not how it came about at all.
A woman named Anna Jarvis spearheaded the celebration of Mother’s Day because she wanted to honor her mother who’d passed three years earlier. She ushered in the first Mother’s Day with a church celebration in West Virginia. And on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as national Mother’s Day and asked Americans to give a public thank you to all their mothers.
In my research for this post, I discovered that Mother’s Day has an official flower–carnations. “The white carnation is said to symbolize motherhood and is used to both honor a mother who has passed away and celebrate a mother who is still living.” Who knew? Even though mothers are honored on special days all over the world–different dates in different countries–what Mother’s Day is here in the United States is purely American. Honestly, a bit overdone and of course commercialized to the heavens and back again. But you know, that doesn’t dismiss the fact that being a mom is a hard job that is never done, even when your kids are adults and become parents themselves. That little freckle-faced boy, who has grown into a beardy bear of a man, will always be my kid. I will always, always love him with all my heart, always be so proud of him, and worry about him to my dying day.
About every seven years, my own mom’s birthday (May 13) lands on Mother’s Day, which makes the day a little bittersweet with memories of her reading aloud to us on camping trips and her humor and intelligence and sense of fun. It also reminds me of the numerous times she and I crossed swords because we were both so set in our thinking–I hope I’ve outgrown that. I’m so grateful for the ten days I got to spend with her in CA six months before she died. Those days, over 35 years ago, are etched in my happy memories as a time when we really communicated and enjoyed each other’s company. They were even more of a gift because I had no idea she’d be gone from this Earth six months later.
I adore my kids and anything at all they choose to do to celebrate me this Mother’s Day will be special and wonderful, but honestly, when they drop by for no reason at all on a Tuesday night in July–that is special. When Son or DIL call just to chat–oh, how special that is! Son inviting me along on his trip to Hawaii was a huge, huge celebration of mom and kid, and knowing we can call them when we need a hand, or offer ours if they need us, is the gift that keeps on giving. Grandboy was the greatest gift of all. So it isn’t the day, it’s the relationships. It’s the having them close and in our lives.
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who celebrate this day, warm wishes to those of you whose mother memories or relationships are not the best. Spend the day in a way that makes you happy.
Gratitude for this week: Got a good report from the GP, she pulled me off the diabetes med because I’m doing so well with eating and weight and heart meds. So far, so good. The ratcheted-up heart meds are treating me okay–no side effects so far. Opened up the lake cottage–yay! Got the back garden border bricks reset–bigger YAY! We spent time with our lake buddies–Kim, Ken, Moe, Bill–at a fun bar on the river. What a treat!
Be safe, be kind, smile at someone today–they’ll appreciate it, and most of all, mes amies, be grateful!