Happy Mothers Day

Historians tell us that the predecessor of the Mother’s Day holiday was the spring festival honoring mother goddesses.

In ancient Greece, the spring festival honored Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the gods and goddesses.

Cybele was honored in Roman festivals. This Roman celebration, known as Hilaria, lasted for three days – from March 15 to 18, and began several hundred years before Christ was born.

England observes “Mothering Sunday”, observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent. It is possible that the ceremonies to honor Cybele were adopted by the early Church in honor of Mary, Mother of Christ.

In seventeenth century England, young men and women would bring small gifts to their mothers in observance of this day. This British holiday would not carry over to America. One explanation is that life on the American frontier was simply too harsh to take time out for this celebration. Some also believe this conflicted with rigid Puritan beliefs. It would be several centuries later before Americans redesigned their own day dedicated to the memory of their mothers.

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe, author of Battle Hymn of the Republic, after the death and destruction of the Civil War, asked mothers to come together and protest sons killing sons of other mothers. In 1870, twelve years after writing the Battle Hymn, she issued a call for an international Mother’s Day to celebrate peace. Howe funded celebrations, but they did not continue. Though her idea did not catch on at the time, Howe had planted the seed that would grow into what we know as Mother’s Day today.

Anna Reeves Jarvis holding Anna Marie

In West Virginia, a women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis, began to celebrate Mother’s Friendship Day in order to re-unite families and neighbors divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War. After the death of Anna Reeves Jarvis, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis began a campaign for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent twenty years as a Sunday School teacher, and her request was honored.

Andrew’s Methodist Church

On May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two white carnations, the favorite flower of Anna Reeves Jarvis, were given to every Mother in attendance.

Today white carnations are used to honor deceased Mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to Mothers who are still alive. I remember the sadness in my mother’s eyes the first time she pinned a pink carnation on me, as she wore her white one.

Today we pause and honor our Mothers, those who are still with us, and those who are not. If I wore corsages, mine would be white. How I wish that were not so. I was blessed to have had two mothers in my life, for my mother-in-law was a second mother to me, as beloved as the woman who gave birth to me.

Today I pray for those women who gave me so much, the one who gave me life, who sacrificed and did without many things so that I could have what I needed, or maybe just wanted. I pray for the woman who gave birth to and raised the wonderful guy I married. He would not be the man he is without the mother God gave him.

Here in the Treehouse, we join in prayer for the mothers we love. We unite in thanks for their selfless love and sacrifice. We pray for mothers of the unborn, that God might give them the strength and wisdom to hold onto that precious life, that unique gift to our world. We offer thanks to all our mothers. May your day be spent with the ones you love.

Share a story of your mother here. Remember with us, that we may never forget the sanctity of life, and that sacrifice to bring it forth.

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113 Responses to Happy Mothers Day

  1. AmericaFirst says:

    My 91 y.o. Mother is still with us – physically at least – so I am surprised how many of these tributes have moved me to tears today. Deeply felt condolences to all of you who are dealing with a recent loss.

    When I was young I viewed my mother as always being so ladylike that I literally renamed her “Lady” from Mother. To me she is still, as well as my greatest role model and friend, even standing up with me at my wedding.

    Thank you for this sweet post Menagerie.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Robyn Harms says:

    Thank you for sharing the history of Mother’s Day. I wish my own mom was still here to call on the phone or give a hug to. She died of a brief serious illness two & a half years ago at the age of 87. Up until her illness she had been fairly healthy & I guess I thought she would be around a few more years longer. Sadly I was wrong & I regret not spending more time with her the last few years. Besides being a great mother, she was a wonderful grandmother, teacher, neighbor & church volunteer. I still miss her & wish I could pick up the phone & call her. For those of you who mothers are still living give them a hug or a phone call today while you still have the chance to. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there today!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. dogsmaw says:

    I truly wanted a mother while I was growing up, and as I look back now I realize I had so many women to step forward to guide and provide an example for my own role as a mother.

    On this day, I honor all Mothers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 6ways says:

    I lost my mother in the fall. Thank you so much for this article, Menagerie. Peace, comfort & prayers to you & all who wear a white carnation today.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lost in Vegas says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom in heaven. It’s been 48 years and I still miss her.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. tonyE says:

    Happy Mother’s Day indeed. My mom and my wife are still alive, my mother in law passed away some years ago.

    All immigrants, legal immigrants, amazing mixture of steel and velvet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Albertus Magnus says:

    Some inspirational stories about different mothers facing varying challenges. I tell every mom that comes to us the following when I first meet with them:

    “In life, there are only a few people in your life you can count on. If you are blessed, you will have several family members and friends that will be with you through thick and then.

    Regardless of where you have been in life, no one can know what you have been through..the problems you have faced because of others and the problems that others have faced because of you. No one here can know that or know you. But I know this, that God the Creator of this world knows everything about you. that he knows you better than you know yourself. And that he loves you. He also loves your unborn baby. And no matter what your past has been, no matter what your future will be, the God who knows you decided He could trust you with the birth and care of your unborn child. So in my mind, if God can trust you, so will we.”

    “So take this opportunity that He has given you to be worthy of His trust. Be the friend to HIM that HE knows you can be. Whether or not He has called you to parent this child, or to make an adoption plan, is only something you can decide”. But always remember that when God NEEDED you to say YES to HIM, you said yes and didn’t abort this baby when so many so-called professional and well meaning people told you that you should allow this child to live. And you always remember this season in your life, when you said YES to the Creator of everything. And be proud of yourself for being one of those people that God could depend on and call HIS friend”.


    (some stories..12 minutes)

    Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Someone posted a video of President Trump’s Mother’s Day message, but the audio seemed out of sync. Here is a direct link to the original from the White House.

    Like

  9. Sylvia Avery says:

    So many loving tributes here. I’m glad I read them. I was hesitant to because I was afraid I’d cry, and I truly hate crying.

    The pain of losing my mom seven years ago is still present and I guess it will be a part of me forever. But even bigger than the grief is the gratitude for God’s gift of my own mom, and the sweetness of reading the glimpses you all shared of your own beloved moms.

    My mom and I didn’t enjoy an easy relationship. Both of us are flawed humans and we were like oil and water. She was a wonderful, wonderful mom for a baby and little girl; a difficult one for a teenager and young adult. I regret every moment I failed to understand and appreciate her. How I miss her wisdom and humor, her smile, and her love of Christ.

    I rejoice knowing she is with my dad and the rest of our family in the presence of God, and I can hardly wait to see them all again when my time here is done.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. New Nonna Again!!! says:

    Having been born on my due date, which happened to be Mother’s Day that year, as the first daughter to my parents, made Mother’s Day very special to me growing up.

    Then becoming a mom myself, Mother’s Day took on a much more meaningful tone.

    And now, this year, as my daughter and my son in law brought their first born home from the hospital on my birthday, two days before this Mother’s Day, has made this a TRULY blessed Mother’s Day. Being able to honor my daughter as a new mom herself this Mother’s Day is such a joyful opportunity for me.

    All I can say is, Thank You, God! Thank You, Jesus! For ALL our family blessings. For this brand new grandchild as well as for our beautiful grandchild born of my son and daughter in law. For a husband of many years, who I fell in love with in HS, who can drive me crazy (but who I know I can drive crazy sometimes, too), who loves his family.

    For all Your blessings, Father, thank You.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers of CTH. May God bless us all with the ability to bring others to Him, as His Will permits. 🙏💕💖🌸🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lucille says:

    Hahahahaha….

    Mother’s Day the Marine Way

    Liked by 2 people

  12. PInky1920 says:

    This is such a wonderful thread. I thought about my precious mother all day today, what a dear, sweet soul she was. She has a place of honor so deep in my heart, her memory is like a breath of sweet, fresh air. I loved reading this post and every ones stories. When God made mothers, he even outdid himself, and with fathers too. I can’t wait to see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. maiingankwe says:

    I don’t remember how old I was when I started my annual gift of thanks to my Mom, I think I was in my early twenties. You see, every time I had a birthday, no matter where I was in the world, she would always receive 12 roses. One year would be peach roses, the next pink and so on and so forth. I believe I hit every color but red for only one year.

    Every birthday of mine she would receive a heartfelt card to go along with her beautiful flowers. I really loved my Mom, and always had a lot to say. (I know, not much has changed).

    I used the same flower shop across from my Grandmother’s house too. After a few years, they would know of my annual gift of flowers and card. I was the one who would always have them use both sides of the card to write what I wanted them to say.

    I remember it was either one of the older ladies who had worked there for years or the owner who would always tell me what a nice daughter I was to do what I was doing. She never knew where I would be calling from. One year was Australia, another was England, one was in Vancouver Island, some in Minnesota and most of them from Alaska close to the end.

    I gave these flowers on my birthday every year because I wouldn’t of been here without her. I gave thanks to giving me life, but not only that, but for teaching me what I needed to know survive and thrive away from the nest. I love the life that she gave me, and flowers once a year was never enough. So I always tried to give her thanks throughout the year too.

    My Mom was brilliantly smart, she could hold her own with CEO’s, throw football stats out with the best of them and make a flawless beef Wellington every dang time. Her pastry was so delicious.

    We had our differences, especially in my teens, but the friendship we formed in my early twenties was simply amazing. We called each other every Sunday, and would call in between with news of all different sorts. Sometimes we’d talk once a week and sometimes four or five. Never once did I feel I was bothering her when I called. It’s as if she would shut everything down around her and it would just be her and me.

    This is the gift I’ve tried to pass to my own daughter. No matter how busy I may seem, nothing is more important than my daughter and when she needs me. Neither my daughter or I have ever used it for frivolous things either, it’s just something we know better. When we need our Mom, it’s because it’s important to us to share.

    I remember our last phone call. My Mom called me as I was driving to Ponytail Kim’s house. (This was before he was really sick). I remember being parked in his dirt driveway listening to my Mom tell me how proud she was of me and how much she loved me and so many other beautiful words. She knew she was dying, I didn’t.

    I flew home within a few days after she had called and spent her last thirteen days taking care of her and my Dad who had dementia pretty bad at the time. It happened so fast, too fast.

    So really all I had was our last phone call. That is the last time I spoke to her when she was coherent and still really with us.

    I remember telling my friend, Ponytail Kim about the call and how she had never spoken to me like that before. He told me I needed to go home ASAP. He knew. I didn’t. For all I knew she was well, at least what I had been told. It wasn’t until I got the call the next day or so I might want to come home.

    I am ever so thankful I had Kim to talk to that day. He laid it out for me. He asked me questions like has she ever had this conversation with you before and so forth. No, of course she never had. She always kept those things tight to her chest. I knew she loved me, cause she would say so, but I never heard her tell me what she had really thought of me as a human being and as her child.

    Today, I would’ve worn a white carnation if I would’ve known, I would’ve done so in her honor. I would also like to tell all of those who still have their moms to call as often as you can, spend as much time as you can, because once they have crossed over it won’t be able to happen again. No more surprise phone calls, no help in the kitchen when you’re trying to make something she’s made more than a hundred times, no questions on how to raise our child right, no more sharing of pictures of joy and to share our happiness.

    I know I’m sounding mean, but I’m not trying to. When they are gone they’re gone. Sure we may feel their presence from time-to-time, but we will never be able to hear their words or feel their hugs.

    My Mom was gone in four months. What made it worse is she never really told any of us. It was after we had learned. So please, reach out to your parents and learn their stories, write them down for your children. Write all of your memories and when you have blank spots, call them. You’ll be surprised how many you have. Hold onto your parents tight and always tell them how much you love and honor them. Make their days filled with sunshine even if it is raining. They love to hear how much respect, love and honor we have for them. They like to know they did a hell of a great job with us even though there were times we did not make it easy for them. And last but not least, just love them. They’re ever so special.
    Be well,
    Ma’iingankwe

    Liked by 1 person

  14. deplorable says:

    Very informative. Thank you for providing that history of how mothers have been honored over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. olderthanuthink says:

    My parents died 3 weeks apart in 2007. They were married for 65 years, completely devoted to each other. Daddy had severe dementia for his last 10 years…and even though Mom had cancer that last year, she was still directing his daily care. We expected her to go first, but Daddy got the flu and never recovered. Sometimes I think that God took Daddy first because Mom just refused to leave him behind.
    They raised 5 kids, over 5 decades. (The oldest was 22 when the youngest was born. I was kid #4.) My brother was born during WWII, while my dad was serving in the Army. When my younger sister graduated from high school, I realized something rather extraordinary. My brother started 1st grade in 1949 (no kindergarten back then). My older sister graduated from high school in 1967, and I started kindergarten that fall. When my younger sister graduated in 1984, my mom was finally done with sending a kid to school, after 35 straight years. (Of course, Daddy was involved, too…but it was Mom who got our butts out the door every morning!) When I mentioned this to Mom, she replied, “Really? It doesn’t seem that long!” Being a mom was her calling – and she embraced it.
    I never thought of my parents as “older” – they were just Mom and Daddy. When my older siblings complained from time to time that my sister and I were allowed to do things that THEY never got away with, Mom would just shrug. “Maybe I’ve learned to let the little things go – did you ever think of that?” Of course, the flip side of that was trying to convince my mother that times had indeed changed since the other kids were in school. I had a very long argument with her about letting me wear jeans to school when I was in junior high. “Your sisters never wore jeans to school!” “Mom, look around. Do you see any saddle shoes, bobby socks, or poodle skirts? No! Because it’s the 70’s – not the early 60’s!” She finally relented and allowed me to wear regular jeans – but hip-huggers were a definite no-go!
    Mom was goofy. You’d be sitting in a chair, minding your own business…and then you’d feel some cold water on your head. Turn around and there was Mom, with a watering can in her hand. “I had an urge…” And she’d just walk away. She was always taking pictures, especially when you didn’t want your picture taken. She claimed she was “documenting” important events. Right, because I certainly wouldn’t want to forget what I looked like when I had bronchitis!
    I was my parents’ caregiver for 5 years after my dad was diagnosed with dementia. Mom was in a wheelchair most of the time, because of severe arthritis. They were still living in their house then, clinging to whatever independence they had left, before they were forced to give that up. One day, I was at home…and Mom called. “Could you come over right away? I’m stuck in the bathtub.” (Now, my husband had tried to get her to let him install some handrails and other aids, but she said they didn’t need them. Stubborn woman.) She had tried to get out of the tub by swinging her legs over the side, but she didn’t have the strength to push herself out. To make matters worse, it took her an hour to get my dad to bring her the cordless phone so that she could call me. He’d go into the bathroom to answer her calling him…she’d ask him to bring her the phone…but he’d forget by the time he got to the dining room…so he’d just go back and sit in his chair. Rinse and repeat.

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    • olderthanuthink says:

      My cat walked across the keyboard and posted before I was ready to. That happens a lot.
      Anyway…when I got there, Daddy was back in his chair, and he smiled when he saw me. I called out – “Hey, Mom! Where are you at?” “Oh, you’re so, so funny!” I found her in the tub…Daddy had managed to bring her a robe, so at least I was spared THAT image. i said, “Where’s your camera? We have GOT to document this!” “Oh, don’t you dare!”
      Then, I told her that I was going to call the fire department, because I couldn’t get her out by myself. “Oh…do you really think that’s necessary?” “They’re just down the street…they can be here in two minutes. I’ll go call them!” So, while she stewed about that, I went around the house, collecting pillows. I propped her up in the tub until I could slide her out. She was so relieved that I didn’t call the firemen…although that would’ve been really interesting!
      I miss my mom. Miss my dad. I was incredibly blessed to have them both – and I thank God for them every day.
      Happy Mother’s Day, Momma! Love you so, so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Taximom07 says:

    Just had a chance to sit down and read this post. I must say Menagerie’s posts are “must reads” for me. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and memories. I cried through most of them. Even though I don’t always agree with some of the other political posts, Menagerie’s posts have encouraged me on my journey through life, knowing I am not alone, there are those of you out there who have gone down the same road I have. I have been so, so blessed and I still have my mother very much alive and kicking at age 91. She’s on email and Facebook and keeps up with the current events. She is my role model and provided us ( all 8 of us) with a solid faith and moral code. Oh, and also a fabulous work ethic.
    I am mother to two grown daughters and grandma to 4 fantastic grandkids.
    Keep up the great work Menagerie..you have more fans than you know out here😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. TreeClimber says:

    Never paid much attention to Mother’s Day. Always thought it was a gimmick dreamed up by Walmart and jewelry stores. Mother was a single mom, our dad abandoned us when i was 4 and my sister 2. She was too busy taking care of us to make friends, and we were quite poor (financially,) so nothing was ever done.

    This past Mother’s Day was my first, as a mom myself. Mostly I just tried to keep my teething four-month-old happy. Found out one of my sisters-in-law is pregnant.

    My mother called me earlier. She was calling to say thank you for me taking care of her after her stroke, when we were living in the car over the winter. For my teen and really early twenties we didn’t get along at all. Now she’s my best (and only) friend.

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