The genesis of the Mother’s Day holiday arose out of a woman’s loss of her mother. On May 9, 1906, a year after her mother’s death, Anne Jarvis threw a memorial service at her home with a few friends in attendance to honor her mother’s memory. The celebration grew each year thereafter. She thereafter held one celebration at a retail store and then another at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia. She sent 500 white carnations to the church, her mother’s favorite flower, and as a result of this act the white carnation is now the official symbol of a “mother’s pure love”. Anne Jarvis developed a following over the years and they began to lobby the legislature for the official declaration of a Mother’s Day holiday. By 1911, the Mother’s Day holiday was celebrated in the US and in other countries. On May 9, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation officially establishing Mother’s Day as a national day of celebration.

I have to admit that I have a difficult time with Mother’s Day, not because of who my mother was, to the contrary, but because she died at such a very young age. On this day, I tend to focus on my wife, Diane, and the wonderful caring mother that she is to our two daughters, Lindsay and Savannah, and direct my energies to celebrating her. However, I have learned over the years to deal with the pain of the loss of my mother at 54 years of age and reflect on the amazing person she was and how she shaped me into the man I am today with her gentle, but firm guidance like a skilled sculptor molding clay into a creation that hopefully others would appreciate when they came into contact with it.

My mother was loving, caring, honest, kind, generous, respectful, and nonjudgmental of others. She tried to instill these traits in me through her word and mostly by deed. She also taught me that diligent, hard, honest work was something to strive for and take pride in. Unfortunately, my two daughters never really knew their grandmother. I can only hope that they can get a semblance of who she was by the way I approach life and through the images Diane and I share with them through memories of her. Studies show that a loving, caring mother is more impactful in a child’s development than a father with the same qualities. I was so very blessed to have had such a mother, and am further blessed to have a wife that is that way with our daughters.

On this Mother’s Day, may you have fond thoughts of your mothers and your wives who mother your children. May you share in the pure love of their motherhood. Shower them with white carnations in tribute of their motherly ways and in remembrance of Anne Jarvis.