Everything Began Sometime!

Can you imagine Mother’s Day without mother’s day cards? Six hundred and seventy

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis

one million dollars are spent each year on them. This year, Mother’s Day is over and most of us take it for granted that this special day of recognition has always been. Attempts at honoring mothers existed in America back in the 1870’s and the 1880’s but it wasn’t until 1908 that Anna Jarvis, saw her campaign efforts recognized here in the United States. 1914 was the year that President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a National holiday.

Anna was not pleased with the commercialization of Mother’s Day. “This day is about Mothers Day  13sentiment, not profit,” she said. Her original intent was to appreciate and honor a person’s mother by writing a personal letter, by hand, expressing love and gratitude. She began boycotts and threatened lawsuits to try to stop the commercialization. Just how strongly did the founder of Mother’s Day feel about this? She crashed a candy makers convention In Philadelphia in 1923 and later protested at an American War Mothers confab where carnations were being sold. There she was arrested for the disturbing the peace. She felt so strongly about this that she tried to rescind Mother’s Day. Of course, her efforts were to no avail.

Since the early 1920’s, Hallmark and other companies have been selling Mother’s Day Mothers Day 11cards and although Anna Jarvis’s idea of a personally written note expressing love and gratitude would be the ultimate, many of us find the messages written by professionals express our feelings and are better said than we could do ourselves. Not too many years ago, card senders began underlining sentences that were especially meaningful, which helps personalize the card. Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world where two billion mothers exist.

My children are very gracious in remembering me on Mother’s Day, always with Mother’s Day cards, and most always a hand written note inside. One of these cards came early enough that I can include here what it says. Inside, I loved what my

Here's the card I write about.

Here’s the card I write about.

daughter-in law wrote, “I am thankful you are in my life” and my son’s hand-written comments, “Much love and appreciation.” I’ve photographed the outside of the card, and it too, appears to be hand written, although it isn’t.

As I read and reread the front of the card, I became very reflective. Obviously, this card was chosen because my children thought it described me. I felt humbled, because like most mothers I often wish I could raise my family again and do a better job. I must confess that the job of raising our family, all five children, being born only a few years apart, seemed like a very looong time. Well, at the time it did, but as I look back those years just slipped by.

Getting back to the card, the first line reads, “Mom, you’re a woman with unbelievable strength.” And, it’s true, but only because of the strength God supplies. He promises that His strength will carry us through, no matter how tough the circumstance we face. I recall Mothers Day 5jpgthe time I was in tears after the kids with muddy feet tracked across my just-scrubbed kitchen floor. That doesn’t sound very strong, does it? I do remember being strong physically and carrying a baby on each hip with one in tow hanging on to my skirt. ( I admire today’s mothers when I see them moving children from car seats to strollers, to shopping carts.) Yes, a mother’s physical strength needs to be that supplied by youth.

The next line on the card reads: “Unforgettable beauty.” It could mean physical beauty, still lurking somewhere in my aging face, but it’s more than likely that  an inner beauty is meant here, the result of God’s workings in my life. Lastly, it reads: “And a heart full of unconditional love.” Occasionally you hear of a mother, who because of her children’s actions has disowned them, but most mothers’ love remains no matter what a child has done, that’s where I am.

Inside the card there’s a line of print that says, “There’s just no one else like you.” This is true and I hope all mother’s realize this. We are each a unique creation of God and one of the greatest privileges in our lives is that of being a mother.

The Mother’s Day cards will be lined up on my kitchen table and will give me plenty of time Mothers Day 9to do a lot more reflecting on being a mother. I’ll do this with deep thankfulness in my heart.

P.S. I like to keep you updated on how this blog is doing. Many of the comments I receive are made by a faithful few who have read Shirl and You since I began writing it nearly three years ago. These are much appreciated. Each week I coax for others to write, so I have to tell you about the one coming in last week. A woman wrote that she reads many blogs and found mine to be” feature based writing.” But what really caught my eye was her URL  which reads NYTimes.com. I got excited. Would they carry Shirl and You in the NY Times? Of course, I was day dreaming a bit, however, I greatly appreciate that our local newspaper, “Suburban News,” is doing just that.

Here's my family, four sons and one daughter- in 1965.

Here’s my family, four sons and one daughter- in 1965.

Since I wasn't included in the family photo. This one was taken of me at about the same time.

Since I wasn’t included in the family photo. This one was taken of me at about the same time.

9 thoughts on “Everything Began Sometime!

  1. I like your blog about Mother’s Day. I always wondered how holidays like this one got started; and now I know about Mother’s Day. The best cards that I have gotten are handmade ones, but they are all appreciated. Happy Mother’s Day to a great Mom.


    • I appreciate the fact that with all your interests, you take time to read shirlandyou and not only that but respond to each one. Thanks for your loyalty. Your comments always bring a new twist to the subject. Thanks, Colleen,


  2. Thanks for sharing your story about Mother’s Day. Personally, I have never received a Mother’s Day card and don’t expect to. However, I would like to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day as you read the special cards that come your way. Blessings to you.


  3. My daughter expressed love and gratitude by coming home armed with my favorite foods…meats and cheeses for sandwiches and an assortment of unusual salads…also locks and cream cheese and capers…and don’t forget the hummus. I was in my glory…and that feeling continues all week long with the leftovers. My son always gives me a beautiful heartfelt card. I loved seeing all your children and that’s how I remember them and you are as beautiful as ever. It makes me long to have those days back…but all I need do is go back in my memory. Your writings help me to do that so it’s almost like being there again. God “is” the reason for our ability to be strong. He helps us get through everything that comes our way. The best job anyone could have is that of being a mother…raising children to care for themselves and be responsible human beings…to leave the nest with God as their guide and be productive assets to society…not to conform to…but change it for the better…Happy Mama’s Day Shirl


    • So glad you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.I never tire of reading about your mothers (plural) influence on your life It must have been in God’s plans for you. Isn’t it amazing how he can turn sorrow into gladness? Thanks for writing, Karen.


      • You are correct about being in Gods plan…mom Ann was totally unexpected and born 15 years after her sister. But she was not unexpected in Gods eyes. I believe she was born for the sole purpose of being our mother…so our broken family could be put back together. We called her Ann that 1st year and it was our wish to call her “mom” in our own time.


  4. Awesome blog. I really do love you and are so glad u r in my life. Reading this today- over week after Mother’s Day. . I wish we can spend more time together. It was just zac and me for most of mothers day.) I like the handwritten cards(; maybe ill rber that next yr. hope to see ya soon.miss ya – any cherry soda in your frig?(:


    • Ah, ha, so you found the post in which I used the card you sent me for mother’s day. Bet, you were surprised! Thanks again for making my day. Nice to know you are reading Shirl and You.


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