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100th Anniversary of Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis originated the concept of Mother’s Day in 1908 to honor her deceased mother. She had promoted the day to the extent that by 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May a national holiday. Anna then spent the next 12 years vigorously opposing the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

She said men were buying their mothers candy and then eating most of the candy themselves.

It is interesting that many in congress opposed Mother’s Day, complaining that it was an insult to only give mothers one day. Mother’s Day in some form or other had been around Europe since the 16th century.

Hallmark sells almost 150 million Mother’s Day cards each year. 65% of those cards are sold within 5 days of Sunday. I thought it was interesting that “Mom” didn’t appear on any cards until the 1980s. More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.

My mother, Wilma Cowell (1911-1999), was exceptional. As a Sunday school teacher, storyteller, daycare center operator, and caregiver to anyone who needed to be loved, she mothered hundreds. I still regularly get visits at Whitestone and phone calls from adults who remember her fondly. I was so fortunate that I never had reason to question my parent’s love.

Maybe congress was right: One day is not enough to celebrate mothers’ love and devotion to us. If your mother is still here, let her know how valuable she has been in your life.

Mother’s Day at Whitestone is always a joyous family celebration. Husbands bring their wives for a night or two if children aren’t nearby for a visit. Our Mother’s Day lunch always has happy faces.

Flowers, candy, cards are great ways to say “I love you.” If you wrote a personal card or letter it might be even more meaningful. I’m prejudiced and think the most significant expression of appreciation would be a gift card for a stay at Whitestone, but of course I am biased!

Whatever you do, if your mother is alive, find creative ways to express your love. Certainly don’t forget about the mother of your children. And if your mother has graduated from this life, spend a little time savoring the thoughts of that reunion on the other side.