Sunday, May 8th is Mother’s Day. In the United States, it is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of May. Some countries celebrate on the same day. Others honor mothers on a different day. It is an international celebration of the many things mom do. The modern day history of Mother’s Day in America dates back to 1905 after Anna Jarvis lost her mother. Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers of the American Civil War. Anna continued her mother’s work and wanted a day set aside to honor all mothers. In 1908, Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia. The same year, Congress rejected her proposal to make the celebration a national holiday. However, by 1911 many states were observing the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making the second Sunday in May a national holiday honoring mothers.
Over the years, we have seen the commercialization of most holidays on the calendar and Mother’s Day is no exception. Just a week to the celebration, the reminders are everywhere. We are bombarded with ads from retailers online, on television and on the radio. Children of all ages are preparing to make their moms feel special. Moms will get flowers, jewelry, spa days, visits and telephone calls, relief from her usual to-do list and maybe even a family day at church. No matter how we decide to honor the woman who arguably has made every possible sacrifice for our wellbeing, remember that next Sunday should simply be the highlight. Mothers are to be cherished everyday.
While many have the opportunity to show their moms expressions of love, we cannot dismiss this is not the case for everyone. For those of any age who have lost their moms, it can be a painful reminder. A great deal of attention is given to the emotional difficulty some experience during the holiday season but undoubtedly Mother’s Day gives rise to those very same emotions. Because the build up to celebrate moms is shorter, this isolation is often overlooked. It is difficult to avoid the millions who are getting ready to celebrate and honor their moms. I would encourage the focus to be less on the physical absence but instead on those treasured memories. A mother’s love never departs. We are who we are today because of that mother’s indelible mark that will never fade.