Mother’s Day – Give what matters most
Published 12:54 pm Sunday, May 7, 2023
An Editorial Opinion of The Greenville Advocate
Americans will observe Mother’s Day this year on May 14. Traditionally celebrated with the giving of cards, gifts, or flowers and commemorated by church attendance, a family lunch, or a phone call, the holiday is a time to honor mothers and the role they play in the lives of their families.
Julia Ward Howe is credited with organizing a “Mother’s Day for Peace” around 1870 as a day dedicated to the celebration of peace and the eradication of war. In Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” she expressed the opinion that mothers should gather to prevent the cruelty of war and the waste of life since mothers of mankind alone bear and know the cost of bringing life into the world.
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Another woman, Anna Jarvis, wished to memorialize her mother’s life and started campaigning for a national day to honor all mothers in 1905.
“I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life,” Jarvis once said. “She is entitled to it.”
Jarvis memorialized her mother’s life with a service held at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia in May of 1907. A Mother’s Day service was held at the church on May 10 the following year, inspiring the idea to set aside the second Sunday in May to honor all mothers, the living and the deceased.
Eventually the day became commercialized. Some have said the observance was launched by greeting card companies in an effort to generate sales.
Today, there are many ways to celebrate mothers. Some families give her gifts or take her out for a special meal. Churches often ask mothers to stand, or give them a rose, honoring the oldest or youngest mothers, the moms who have the most children, or even the mothers who have watched their children die prematurely.
Mothers cherish the honor they receive and most enjoy the variety of gifts their families hand craft or purchase with love.
But the one thing most mothers would agree they value most is time spent with their families. Whether a father and his children serve a young mother breakfast in bed or a middle-aged daughter visits her elderly mother at the local nursing home, mothers look forward to the annual day when loved ones take a pause from life’s busy pace to share a few hours with her.
As families prepare to celebrate their mothers on May 14, we encourage them to consider making time spent with her the most important gift on their list. This could be an afternoon on the porch or a video chat from across the country. Either way, let her know she’s still honored as the first lady in your life.