As much as I loved my mother Violet Zelinski, it will come as a surprise to some people that over the years I didn’t buy her Mother’s Day flowers, Mother’s Day cards, or Mother’s Day candy for Mother’s Day. I did buy her dinner, however, and spent quality time with her every Mother’s Day. Perhaps you should do likewise every Mother’s Day. be mothers
Truth be known, you don’t have to feel guilty about not buying Mother’s Day gifts, Mother’s Day flowers, or Mother’s Day cards to help your mother celebrate Mother’s Day. Not buying your mother cards, flowers, or candy to help her celebrate this special event is not about being stingy and saving yourself a few bucks, however. There is a much better reason. We have to go back to the origins of Mother’s Day to place this in proper perspective.
Anna May Jarvis was just two weeks shy of forty-two, working for a life insurance company in Philadelphia, when her mother (Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis) died on May 9, 1905. It was the second Sunday of the month. The next year Anna May Jarvis made her life goal to see her mother and motherhood honored annually throughout the world. Jarvis felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while she was still alive. She hoped Mother’s Day would increase respect for parents and strengthen family bonds.
Two years after her mother’s death, Anna Jarvis and her friends began a letter-writing campaign to gain the support of influential ministers, businessmen, and congressmen in declaring a national Mother’s Day holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation from the U.S. Congress to establish the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day forevermore.
Ironically, the commercialization of the day she had founded in honor of motherhood – today it is the biggest business day of the year for U.S. restaurants and flower shops – was not what Anna May Jarvis had envisioned. Jarvis wanted people to spend a lot of quality time with their mothers and let their mothers know how special they were.
Sadly, Jarvis, who never married and was never a mother herself, retired from her job at the insurance company to spend her remaining thirty-four years, and her entire fortune of over $100,000, campaigning against the commercialization of Mother’s Day.