As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” I was fortunate to have loving parents that did their very best to instill values, ethics and love in all three of their children. Although we lost Mom six years ago, her lessons remain fixed in our memories and I try to pass them along to my children and grandchildren.
I have always enjoyed attending church and have had the privilege of hearing many excellent preachers. Most Mother’s Day sermons, however, are those praising and extolling the virtues of motherhood. However, just prior to the birth of my son, the Mother’s Day sermon instead asked us to feel compassion for those who longed for a child but had not been able to have one and for those who knew the indescribable loss of losing a child. That message has resonated with me for 24 years.
While parenthood is not for everyone, those of us who have been blessed by good parents are very fortunate. Also important are those who did not have good parents but have been blessed by women who have mentored and encouraged them along the way, such as the students we see at Tamassee and Crossnore schools.
I was also very fortunate to have a DAR mother, Nancy Tiner, who encouraged and mentored me every step of the way. I was determined not to let her down because she believed in me even when I did not. When Nancy passed away suddenly four years ago this weekend, I realized what an incredible gift her love, friendship and support had been. Further, I realized that it was now my turn to pass that gift on to others and to mentor young women to reach their full potential.
This month marks 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday upon the urging of Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. Miss Jarvis began a campaign to set aside a day in which to honor mothers at the time when her own mother passed away and then later fought the over commercialization of the holiday.
It is fitting that on this day we honor all mothers, in particular our Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers. American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. is an organization of mothers whose sons or daughters served and died while serving their nation in times of war or conflict: http://www.goldstarmoms.com/. Blue Star Mothers of America is an organization of mothers whose children have served or are currently serving in our armed forces: http://www.bluestarmothers.org/.
The Commemorative Events webpage has several suggestions for honoring mothers:
- · Contact a local nursing home and inquire of patients who do not have family visits
- · If you know of a mother who is the caregiver of an injured serviceman or woman, offer them a respite day.
- · Consider inviting women from both organizations to a tea or luncheon and thank them for their sacrifices.
- · Organizing a wreath laying ceremony and invite the Gold Star mothers in your area to attend.
- · Become a commemorative partner with the U. S. Vietnam War Commemoration. The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration offers a lovely certificate for presentation to family members of Vietnam veterans, POW’s and those killed in action. http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/
My mother was a gardener and each year I plant a flowering shrub in her memory. Every time I admire the blooms of the hydrangeas and roses planted in previous years, I am reminded of my mother, whom I miss every day, and I am inspired to renew my efforts to be a blessing to others.
I would love to hear how you honored the Mothers in your family and in your community this year. Happy Mother’s Day to all!