The idea of a celebration of motherhood has roots more years back than one can imagine; however, for purposes of recognitions in the United States, one goes back to 1870 with Julia Ward Howe. Howe called for a day celebrating peace and motherhood following the carnage of the Civil War where she oped to heal the hurt of war. Some cities took up the idea and celebrated sporadically, especially in locations where Howe paid for the celebrations.
The fight was taken up again by Anna Reeves Jarvis in her West Virginia church where she led a women's group in celebrating a Mother's Friendship Day, again in an effort to reunite families after the Civil War divided the country.
Jarvis' daughter, Anna M. Jarvis took up the cause following her mother's death and championed the first official Mother's Day celebration on May 10, 1908 in Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, W. Va. That church is now the International Mother's Day Shrine. The younger Jarvis worked hard to have national recognition for the day. It was not until 1914 that Woodrow Wilson declared the holiday an official one to be celebrated the second Sunday in May.
May 12 is designated Mother's Day this year and we encourage all to remember all mothers. Some of us sadly no longer have our mothers with us and on a day such as this, the loss is often felt moreso than other days. Flowers on a grave, hours spent looking at photographs and just remembering special times mark the day.
For others, visits to moms with bouquets or dinner are the practice. A day of leisure for moms would be nice if that could happen! A card goes a long way in making a mom feel remembered and honored. A phone call from a child (and adults are still someone's child) also makes the years spent raising, teaching, worrying over and caring for their offspring worth it.
There are many women who may not be the official "mother" of a child (or, again, an adult) but who has been significant in one's life and care. Take time on this day to recognize and honor those women as well as your own mother.
We at the Chronicle salute all mothers for the often thankless job they do each and every day in keeping their homes together, often being the breadwinner (or contributing to it), rocking babies for hours, kissing every 'boo-boo', being on the sidelines at every game, being in the auditorium at every concert, worrying every late night until the key turns in the door and so many more actions, thoughts and prayers spent everyday as part of this wonderful journey called Motherhood.