“It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known—your mother—as a son or a daughter.” That’s why Ann Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day.” Ann who was most responsible for what we call Mother’s Day—and she would spend most of her later life fighting what it had become. Ann Jarvis’s fervent attempts to reform Mother’s Day continued until at least the early 1940s. In 1948 she died at 84 in Philadelphia, penniless in a sanitarium in a state of dementia. Sad really. Like everything else we do in this country we make something that started out simple and transform it into something that even the person who came up with the idea doesn’t recognize. Ann Jarvis would spend her fortune attacking candy and card companies, presidents wives, and even congress. That American propensity to take something simple and really quite lovely and turn it into a ghastly amalgamation of flowers and candy and special dinners and the start of the fishing season is sad in its’ own way. And according to Tiffany Hsu writing in the LA Times, “Besides Christmas, there’s nothing quite like the Mother’s Day shopping scramble: $3.4 billion on brunch or dinner, $1.6 billion on clothing an accessories, $1.3 billion on getaways and pampering, all amounting to a big $18.6-billion thank you from children and spouses.”
So I guess I am weird for not being with my Mother on this special day. She wants me to stay home and get some rest and then someday come over and take her to the graves of her mother and father and all the other relatives and family members and clean them up so I always do what my mother says. I will get some rest but I think my mind and prayers will be somewhere else and that is half way around the world with a group of women that I have never met but who I can’t get out of my mind and that is the mothers whose children were taken. This day must mean something to then that I can never understand or begin to explain. I will do what Christians have always done in a world of sin – pray.