Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! --The Meaning Behind the Greeting

A “Happy Mother’s Day” greeting has a deeper meaning than to just have a joyous day. Sharing these three words with your mom, grandma, stepmom or other person is a way to say, “thank you”, “I honor you”, “I respect you”, and “I love you.” It is about putting a mom’s happiness first for the day.

In the United States we have been honoring mothers for nearly a century on the second Sunday in May. Credit for the holiday is attributed to Anna Jarvis, who spend much of her lifetime promoting this special day to honor her own mother, Ann Jarvis. She was inspired by her mother’s dedication to her eleven children.

On the second anniversary of her mother’s death which fell on the second Sunday in May, Anna Jarvis worked with her mother’s church in West Virginia to create a celebration for all moms. She decorated the church with her mother’s favorite flowers, white carnations which were symbolic of her mother’s love; full of sweetness, purity and endurance. Carnations still are used today in Mother’s Day celebrations. Red carnations are symbolic of mom’s who are living and the white flowers memorialize the ones who have passed away.

This first Mother’s Day was such a success that support grew for Anna Jarvis. She recruited a team of supporters to write politicians, congressmen and ministers throughout the U.S. It was a century ago, in 1910, when West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day as a holiday. The following year almost every state observed the day to honor mothers as well. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May as the holiday: Mother’s Day.

In the past 90+ years though the family structure may have changed, creating many more “mothering” people to be honored, one thing has stayed the same. This day is for remembering and honoring moms for all of the good you do and the love you share. Happy Mother’s Day!

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm