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What Does Mother’s Day Mean to You?

by Deah on Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:50 AM

When I think about this question, I have mixed feelings. My mother is still with us and I love her dearly. I spend a couple days a week looking in on her and dad. We are close, and this year the thought occurred to me that I am lucky enough to continue presenting pink carnations to her. The carnation is the traditional flower of Mother’s Day. With pink and red for mothers who are alive and white for those who have passed away.

Mother’s Day also bring sadness to me as my husband’s mother passed away eight years ago. I was close to her as well. She was a dear soul and was so very good to me. Of course white carnations will go on her grave to honor what she was and still is to us.

With this Mother’s Day being very sentimental to me, I wanted to do some research. Not only on the history but some fun facts too.

History of Mother’s Day
The official history of Mother’s Day starts with Anna Jarvis who held a memorial for her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis. Her campaign began in 1905, the year her mother passed away. Ann had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers of the Civil War. After that she became concerned about mothers who dealt with unsanitary conditions and she was greatly concerned about contaminated milk. She created the “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach mothers how to care for their children and to address public health issues. Wanting to continue her work and honor her, Anna began a movement and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor all mothers. There were other prior attempts to celebrate Mother’s Day but never made it beyond their local areas or past congress.

Some fun facts about Mother’s Day:

  • While Anna Jarvis asked that the official flower for Mother’s Day be the white carnation (her mother’s favorite flower), other colors came into play in later years. In a 1927 interview Jarvis said, “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying."
  • About one-quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year are purchased for Mother’s Day.
  • By 1920’s Anna Jarvis become so dishearten by how commercialized the holiday had become she began to campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers. She would eventually spend all her inheritance in legal fees and by the time of her death in 1948 she had spent the last four years of her life in a mental institute and penniless.
  • More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.
  • Behind Christmas and Easter, Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday in the world.
  • In earlier times, people observed Mother's Day by going to church and writing letters to their mothers. Eventually, sending cards, taking mom out to dinner, giving gifts and flowers were added to the traditional ways to honor our mother. Fresh flowers and plants are the most popular.
  • Women are starting their families later in life. The early 30’s are when women are most likely to give birth to their first child as opposed to their 20’s.
  • According to the 2017 Mother’s Day Index, the various tasks moms perform at home would be worth $67,619 a year in the professional world.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, Mother’s Day spending this year is estimated to reach $23.1 billion.
  • The oldest mother to date to conceive, was 71 years old, and the youngest mother was 5 years old, according to statistics from the UK’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority. (Note: the five year old is a medical marvel and a tragedy- research the story.)
  • Anna Jarvis insisted that the intention be a day to honor mothers individually and not collectively, thus the reason for the apostrophe before the “s” – making it singular possessive instead of plural possessive.

However you intend to honor your mother this year, be respectful and do so with lots of love.

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”
Cardinal Meymillod

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
mother's day

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Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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