Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers, Daughters, Wives (Judy Small)

For my mom, my stepmother-in-law and for all the mothers out there, most of whom continue to believe that peace is achievable - "study war no more" indeed...


Who are the mothers of Mother's Day? Before President Woodrow Wilson made it an official holiday in 1915, Mother's Day wasn't about flowers and cards, but instead it was a tribute to women's peace-making activities.

Mother's Day is actually a marriage of two separate campaigns that began during the Civil War. The first version of Mother's Day is attributed to Anna M. Jarvis of West Virginia who participated in Mother's Work Days, in which women's brigades worked to improve critical community sanitation. In 1868, Jarvis established Mother's Friendship Day, which encouraged women to ease tensions between North and South once the war was over.

The second mother of Mother's Day was Bostonian Julia Ward Howe, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," who called upon all women to band together to abolish war. Her Mothers' Peace Day celebrations took place for several years in Boston and other cities until the end of World War I.

[Added 5/12/08: For These Stars, Mom Rules by Donna St. George, Washington Post Staff Writer - thanks, AW, for the heads-up on the MCC list! ]

POEM: Prayer Chain by Tim Nolan

My mother called to tell me
about an old classmate of mine who

was dying on the parish prayer chain—
or was very sick—or destitute—

or it had not worked out—the marriage—
or the kids were all on drugs—and

all the old mothers were praying intensely
for all the pain of their children

and for life—they were praying for life—
in their quiet rooms—sipping decaf coffee—

I bet they've been praying for me at times—
so I'll find my way—so I won't rob a bank—

I'll take them—the mystical prayers of old mothers—
it matters—all this patient and purposeful love.

QUOTE: "Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins." ~ Erma Bombeck


  1. Happy Mother's Day, Susan. I know I would be proud to be your kid. (=

  2. Hey, A -

    You are dear - I would be beyond honored to be your mother... <3

    It's been a lovely day so far - I slept until 10 (!) and woke up to brunch, prepared by my daughter Sarah and served on the patio.

    My son Rob had to dash off to work, but he should be home by 5, whereupon we'll order in delicious salads from a local restaurant - in the meantime, *my* mom is arriving tomorrow for a one-week visit, so I'll spend an hour or so cleaning house so I can justify floating in the pool the remainder of the day (the 5-disc changer stacked with my faves!)

    Please wish your mom a happy day for me - she must be proud of you as well... :-)