At your assisted living or continuing care community, when you start thinking of your Mother’s Day celebrations this year, it may be interesting knowing the origins of Mother’s Day.
This holiday dates back to 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. She had campaigned to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday when her mother died in 1905. She wanted to honor her mother, Ann Jarvis, and have a day set aside to honor all mothers. Jarvis’ mother was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
Through Jarvis’ work, President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.
It’s interesting to note that Jarvis became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday from companies such as Hallmark. She protested the exploitation and tried to rescind Mother’s Day.
Not only did she fail, Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and now is celebrated all over the world.
That’s fortunate for Hallmark. Mother’s Day is the third largest card-sending holiday in the U.S. with 120 million cards exchanged annually.
I hear wonderful stories about mothers at our senior living communities. Each community usually has a Mother’s Day celebration that usually includes a Sunday brunch, music and champagne.
We are always seeking publicity opportunities and begin asking in early April if there are some interesting stories residents can share. We are looking for multi-generations being together, tips on mother-daughter relationships to advice to young mothers. Any of these ideas may be of interest for a reporter.
An administrator told me that her community honors all of its women residents to not make any woman feel excluded. I think that’s a nice touch. Roses are awarded to all of the ladies attending their brunch. They don’t play up the fact of families who attend to make anyone whose family was unable to be there feel sad. They are very sensitive to the holiday impact on their residents.
I value the time I spend with my mother and am blessed that she is healthy and happy. I speak to her every morning and while these calls are part of my morning routine, they never are routine.
I’m blessed to have this time to catch up on her day and share mine with her.
While we can’t be together for Mother’s Day, she’ll have a card and telephone call from me on Mother’s Day Sunday.
How does your community celebrate Mother’s Day?
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