My mother would have been proud of Anna Marie Jarvis. Not because she is most known for being the one who put Mother’s Day on the calendar back in the early 1900’s, but because she was the one who tried to get it off the calendar!
I know, it’s all a bit confusing isn’t it. Our story begins simply with Anna wanting to do something nice to honor her beloved mother, Ann, who had been a peace activist during the Civil War. Along with caring for wounded soldiers on both sides of the fence, Ann also had a mission that a day should be set aside every year to honor mothers. But she died before ever seeing the day come to fruition.
So her daughter, Anna, picked up the ball and became the champion to make Mother’s Day a recognized national holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed off on the idea, and now the second Sunday of May is Mom’s day! So far so good, until…
A few years later Anna wished she had never initiated the campaign. What was meant to be a day set aside for honor, reflection and sentiment, had become another opportunity for corporate America to profit. Hallmark and other companies began selling cards, commercializing the holiday like all others, and Anna was furious! Her mother’s inherited activist genes ignited, and she went on the warpath doing all she could to reclaim the day as it was meant to be celebrated. She crashed conventions, organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits, and yes, even got herself arrested for disturbing the peace.
Now, have I mentioned that my mother also has a bit of an activist side to her? These days she tirelessly champions all sorts of causes to make the world a better place, and like Anna, has no fear of being arrested. So today, on Mother’s Day, I honor my mother and all mothers who stand up for what they believe in, and do their best to raise us kids.
And I honor my own wife, who is the best mother my son could ever ask for!