Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

 by Shanna Hatfield

I couldn't let this day go by without wishing all you moms out there a very happy day!

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

The roots of the modern American Mother’s Day date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War (1861-65), Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity. Jarvis eventually denounced the holiday, appalled the commercialism. Regardless, it continues to be one of the biggest holidays for spending in America.
I've been fortunate to have several "mothers" in my life who are greatly important to me and dearly loved.

This is my mom (circa 1950). She fell in love with a boy who moved to town their senior year of high school and married him the year after they graduated. They had three children in the next five years and thought they were close to being empty-nesters when they discovered a new addition to the family would arrive not long after their 20th wedding anniversary.
Growing up, I always felt fortunate to have my mom. She was the one who introduced me to the joys of getting lost in a good book. She taught me how to cook and bake, garden and keep house, sew and crochet.

This is Aunt Robbie (my dad's sister). She and I would have shared a birthday if I'd arrived just a few hours earlier. We do share a middle name, a love of sweets, and an affinity for shopping. Aunt Robbie has always been full of fun (as witnessed here by the hat she donned for a tea party luncheon), style, grace and encouragement. Whenever I needed someone to tell me everything would work out just fine, Aunt Robbie's door was the one I knocked on. We spent many an hour at her kitchen table talking about everything and nothing.

My mother-in-law and I have been friends since the early days of my marriage to Captain Cavedweller. Maybe it's because she's the same age as my oldest brother. Maybe it's because we just enjoy each other's company, but we've had so much fun together over the years. She's always got a listening ear and the warmest hugs.

To all the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, daughters and women who open their hearts to one another - thank you and have a marvelous day today.

Just for fun... one randomly drawn winner will receive a digital copy of the Women of Tenacity boxed set, which includes a short story and three full-length contemporary romances set in the fictional town of Tenacity Oregon.

To enter, answer this question:
Who was the most influential person in your life as you were growing up?

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.
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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My Mom, was GREAT! She worked, out of the home, in the home, and took care of the home, two children and a husband who thought he was a king and we were all his slaves, who deserved punishment if we didn't jump to do do his bidding quickly enough.

    1. What a blessing you had your mom, Deb! Hugs to you!!!

  3. The most influential person in my life growing up was my Mom. We lived with my father and he was abusive. Most verbally but occasionally physical. My Mom took most of the abuse. She would step in when he started yelling. I'm not sure why we stayed as long as we did but one day she said that's enough. She took us four girls and left. She has always been there when any of us need her. I do need to add that when we left my dad had a wake up call. He changed so much. We didnt have a close relationship for so long. One day I said ok I'll go see him. HE was a REAL father. He stayed a great man until he passed. But my Mother was and is my Rock.

    1. What a tender story, Lola. Thank you for sharing it and Happy Mother's Day to you!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Sweet post, Shanna. I had a great mom, but also a wonderful aunt, and an extraordinary mother-in-law. I was blessed and I hope my kids and kids-in-law think they're blessed to have me.

    1. Thanks, Patricia! I'm sure they think they are very blessed! Happy Mother's Day to you!

  6. My mother! She still is! Always helping me and encouraging me! Thanks! Happy Mother's Day!

  7. I know I'm the odd man out, but I'd have to say my dad. My mom is awesome, but my dad influenced me the most. He was a man of integrity. He walked his talk, he modeled the golden rule of do unto others, he treated my mom as a partner and treated her with love, tenderness, & care. He treated my sister & me the same way. He was a truly amazing man.

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