We all have one, and some of us are lucky enough that we will be with her on Mother’s Day, May 12.
Others will be making phone calls and sending flowers and gifts across the miles to show we care and wish her the best even though we can’t be with her in person.
Still others will remember our mothers for their love and care while they were with us, cherishing the memories of times we shared and mourning the loss, no matter how long it has been.
Our relationships with our mothers can be complicated. Not everyone has a close bond; tension, differences of opinion and hurt feelings sometimes get in the way and cause a rift; occasionally a mother abuses her child, and the connection is severed for good.
But that is rare, and most of us find that the older we get, the more like our mother we become, and that applies to men as well as women. Even though we have minds of our own and may disagree on social issues or politics, we still cherish our mothers and the sacrifices they made and often continue to make for us, no matter how old we are.
These remarkable women brought us into the world, held us when we cried, fed us when we were hungry, sang to us when we were sick, set us straight when we acted up, cheered for us on stages and athletic fields and told us to clean up our rooms if the spaces got too messy.
Simply put, Mom has been there for us in times of triumph and sorrow. When we were in our teens, Mom may have been a little too nosy as we sought to establish our own identities. As we turned into young adults, she gave us a few extra quarters to do laundry or sent some snacks to help us get through all-nighters. As we entered the working world, she made us feel a little braver, even while telling us that we could always come back home if we needed to.
Most of us also find that the older we get, the more we appreciate our moms, especially after we have children of our own.
Celebrations of mothers can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The roots of the American Mother’s Day are variously attributed to Ann Reeves Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe.
Jarvis in 1868 organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” when mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.
In 1870, Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” which asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873, she campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.
Nowadays, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, a time when the earth is bursting with new life and the days are longer and warmer, a fitting time to honor the givers of life, our moms. We hope you celebrate yours, with a card, flowers, chocolates, or breakfast in bed. Or if that isn’t possible, then pause to reflect about all she sacrificed and try to give back to others in a meaningful way.
Jarvis’s idea of “Mothers’ Friendship Day” and Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace, are a fine place to start.