by Maryann Ridini Spencer
Sunday, May 13, is Mother's Day --
the day when we honor and celebrate
mothers and motherhood.
The celebration of the day occurs
on various dates throughout the
world and can be traced back to
elaborate ancient festivals in
Greece and Rome.
However, the more modern day version of the holiday began in the early 1900s.
A woman by the name of Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, hailing from West Virginia,
founded Mother's Day clubs in several cities at the time, to improve poor sanitary
and health conditions. Anna and the Mother's Day Work Club also fed, clothed
and treated the wounds of both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
The mothers and women who worked good deeds as part of the Mother's Day Club,
truly served the people, not only as loving mothers, but demonstrating
characteristic "unconditional motherly love" and support to all.
In 1907, two years after Anna's death, her daughter, also named Anna, rightly began
a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the U.S. Her desire
came to pass, and in 1914, Mother's Day became a nationally celebrated holiday.
Honoring mothers with their special day soon became popular around the globe.
In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to dedicate the following poem to mothers everywhere,
and especially my wonderful Mom, Kay (pictured below Left to Right: Kay - Maryann's
Mom, Maryann, and Len - Maryann's Dad, Christmas, 2007):
A Mother's Love
by Helen Steiner Rice
A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
Happy Mother's Day!
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