Mother’s Day 2020. A bittersweet day in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic. With social distancing, many mothers receive only virtual hugs from their children. For others, like myself, I wish that I could even do that. My mother died in January 2007. My image for the day is carnations, honoring mothers.
Facts about Mother’s Day:
- 1870: Julia Ward Howe proposed the idea of setting one day a year to honor mothers. She was ‘distraught by the loss of the lives in the Civil War’ (Source: https://www.proflowers.com/blog/red-white-flowers-mothers-day ).
- 1914: Woodrow Wilson signed law recognizing 2nd Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis is honored as the woman who began the tradition of wearing flowers to honor our mothers. Source: “Mother’s Day 2020”, https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day)
- Carnations are associated with motherhood traits including faith and charity. A red flower shows respect for a living mother. A white carnation remembers a mother who has died. Some people prefer pink as a sign of gratitude. Source: Tradition of Red & White Flowers on Mother’s Day (https://www.proflowers.com/blog/red-white-flowers-mothers-day )
I am also thinking about all of the mothers in my family tree. Women who bore sons and daughters and eventually became our ancestors. Our family’s heritage reflects the diversity that is America.
- My mother’s mother, Amalie Charlotte Maurer, granddaughter of German immigrants.
- My dad’s mother, Jennie Ash Richards, granddaughter of a woman who died a week after giving birth to her only child, a son. The woman’s ancestors included early Dutch settlers of New York.
- My mother-in-law’s mother, Mabel Venette Reed, descendant of a Revolutionary War Patriot whose family originally came from England.
- My father-in-law’s mother, Clara Doris Simmons, great-granddaughter of Georgia planters with English and Irish origins.
I don’t have any famous women in my family tree. But, each was famous in their own right. Without each of those women who became mothers, I and my husband would not be here. I believe that all of my fore-mothers showed a strength of spirit and endurance. They cared for the daily needs of their family and looked to the future.
To finish, I’m reminded of an old poem written by Rosemary Benet, “If Nancy Hanks came back as a ghost”. Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother, died when Abe was 9 years old.
So, I salute all mothers and tell them that their children did, indeed, “get on”.
“White carnations on Mother’s Day 2020,” Blog post, Posting Family Roots, 11 May 2020