Anna Marie Jarvis was the daughter who decided to honor her mother with the creation of a national holiday which is known as Mother's Day. This annual observance takes place this Sunday and the local flower shops, stationery store, and candy vendors are ready to help you select that perfect gift for your mother.
Local eateries will be packed right after church and for the remainder of the day as sons and daughters take mom out for a meal she doesn't have to prepare or clean up. It's wonderful and it is as American as apple pie.
We need to remember that the concept Anna Jarvis had was that we would wish one another a "Happy Mother's Day" with the idea that the greeting would be said to everyone -- men and women alike, as well as children, and she reminded folks that when we said the greeting we were, in fact, honoring that person's mother and not necessarily them.
There are other ways to honor our mothers. We can do things for them all during the year and not just on Mother's Day. It may seem simple but phoning mom across the miles and touching base with her will mean a great deal. Helping her with her household chores and taking her on errands once driving becomes a difficult task for her. Living your life in a manner that makes her smile instead of frowning will delight her a great deal.
This past Sunday, my wife and I went out for Mexican food and while waiting for a table at El Cid's, a man came in with a cellular phone that another patron had left on the bench outside. It was returned to the owner and everyone went on with their meal. The man who returned the phone was there alone and he just did the right thing because that is the type of man he is, but he is also a reflection of his mother I am sure, because she probably taught him to be an honorable man, even when nobody is looking. That man honored his mother last Sunday to be sure.
Carol and I were enjoying an evening with three other couples this week as we do once each month. We chat about many things but the conversation drifted toward the acts of people in our community who do wonderfully kind things for others and for the most part, those acts of kindness go unreported.
Those acts however are a great part of what makes life so much better for the rest of us. We see volunteers in the community, donors to charity, and advocates for people who aren't able to advocate for themselves and it makes us smile.
Each of those acts are ways that each person honors his or her mother. I remember years ago arriving at what would become my new church and a lovely lady, Eloise Lynch, came up to me to tell me my mother would be proud of me for coming to church. I knew Eloise did not know my mother as she still was living in LA, so I asked about her comment. She replied that she was stating that on behalf of all mothers everywhere who would be delighted to know that their son would attend church "on his own."
So while we are going to celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday with gifts, candy, and meals, the best gifts to give your mom include the gifts of time with her, attention to her needs, respect for her wisdom, and living a life that is a source of pride to her and not a cause of angst or hurts.
While we all have moms, many of us will not be able to spend time with them because of distance or because they have died. My brother and I lost our mother in August of 1994. Those in this community that knew her were well aware that she certainly wasn't the "Donna Reed" or "Margaret Anderson" type of mom. She was different and could be difficult but her sons could be difficult as well.
She's gone, but not forgotten. It would be nice to be able to spend some time with her but that can't happen. So I can do acts in this community and behave in a manner that serves to honor her work in helping to raise me.
This Sunday, take the time to enjoy mom and make her day a special one. Then use the next 364 days until the next Mother's Day to live a lifestyle that makes her smile. In that way, every single day becomes Mother's Day.
Anna Marie Jarvis would smile on you as well.
Happy Mother's Day!