By Chef Joey
Here we are the second Sunday in May, and the Untied States is celebrating Mother’s Day. It was proclaimed to me “Mother” day individually, so each one is recognized. The foundress of this American holiday was Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. Her intention was to honor her mother by continuing the work she started, thus creating a day to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”
Anna was born in 1832 and had the usual life: her father was a Methodist Minister and had her marry off to the son of a Baptist Minister in 1850. Two years later they moved away and started their business which was quite successful from the start. He was a successful merchant then started a mercantile business.
Anna worked on the family side and over the course of the next 17 years she gave birth to 11 to 13 children, of which only 4 survived to become adults. Tragedy and loss like this was not uncommon, and having experienced the demise of her children because of measles, diphtheria, typhoid fever and other Appalachian circumstances, she was inspired to help the community take a stance and correct the circumstances that took her and others children’s lives.
This all started during her pregnancy with her sixth child in 1858. She started the “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to improve sanitary conditions and create health awareness. These clubs were a catalyst to educate families to reduce infant mortality and disease. Additionally, they raised money to purchase medications and hire women to work in families to help the mothers who were now suffering from Tuberculosis or other health issues. With the assistance of her brother, James who just happened to be a physician and was instrumental with his work in the typhoid fever epidemics at the time.
We are miserable with Covid 19, but they had it bad! Anna, alongside her brother James and her new founded club members, created inspections for milk long before it became the norm. Club members also started programs to visit homes and educate mothers and their families about improving sanitation and overall health.
She was indeed a pioneer (no pun intended). However, across the pond in Europe, there already existed celebrations honoring the mother of the family. Mother’s Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of February to June. It also has ties to similar celebrations that recognize family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and even Grandparents Day.
Being European, of course these holidays generally had religion behind them. Like Virgin Mary Day and events that were basically honoring motherhood. With the influence of the United States official holiday all became known eventually as Mother’s Day.
The British with their Church of England had “Mothering Sunday” on the 4th Sunday of Lent. The European’s generally celebrate the second Sunday of May, while a few other countries, France being one of them, celebrate the last Sunday of May. My friend P.J who is from Bolivia told me that Mother’s Day is always the 27th of May, a date that women went to battle to defend their children in 1812. Russians celebrate it as International Woman’s Day – March 8th, every year.
The irony here is Ann Reeve Jarvis’ daughter Ann Marie Jarvis (her namesake) spearheaded the day by holding a memorial Mass for her mother in 1907 on the 2nd Sunday of May, two years after her mom had passed away. After the death, Anna was determined to honor her mother’s accomplishments! And to make that day a holiday – not just for her mother, but for all mothers. After the Mass, she gave each attendant a white carnation, Anna Maria’s favorite flower. She held another the following year as well. So that is the “unofficial” original date of Mother’s Day.
Like her mother, Ann Jarvis was also an activist. She was the 9th child and actually went to university and received a degree. She, however, was more concerned with creating peace. She treated and helped wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and also created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday of May. Much to Ann’s chagrin it took off as a money-making holiday! By the 1920’s Hallmark and other companies were selling cards like hotcakes. Ann organized boycotts, wanted handwritten letters only (that lead to Valentines Day cards – another story). Jarvis was convinced they were not representing her original wishes, and she lost it when white carnations were being sold by the American War Mothers! Ann was so angry she got arrested for disturbing the peace!!
Ann Maria Jarvis gained nothing from creating this holiday, Mother’s Day. She attempted to have Mother’s Day rescinded, to no avail. She died alone in 1948 in a sanitarium, at 84 years old. The karma here is that all her medical bills were paid by people in the floral and greeting card industries.
So now that you have your morning read! Although it is a holiday of sorts, these two remarkable women changed the lives of many with a single outcome – stay alive and healthy. Kind of ironic as here we are 160 years later trying to do the same thing.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Animal Moms: Portraits of Compassion
According to writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the trials of motherhood make moms the great vacationless class. Although she may have been talking about the human variety — the moms who are near and dear to us — other animals show the same tireless dedication to their children. PETA hopes that this Mother’s Day, while you are praising your family’s matriarch, you’ll also remember that some of the best moms in the world are found in the animal kingdom!:
♥️Northern Fur Seals
Fresh from foraging for food, moms have to find their young quickly in a sea of hundreds — or possibly thousands — of seals, so both mother and pup depend on their uncanny powers of vocal recognition to find one another. Both will call out and answer, responding selectively to one another until they are reunited.
Always ready to give an affectionate caress, a gentle nudge in the right direction, or a cool bath to help their babies beat the heat, doting elephant moms maintain constant touch with their young ones, never allowing them to stray too far from their side. Mothers even stay in touch with their adult kids and enjoy close relationships with their daughters that can last up to 50 years.
For cows and their calves, it’s love at first sight. The first minutes after birth are spent developing a bond that will last a lifetime. Throughout life, mother and child maintain social contact and regularly enjoy each other’s companionship. Their attachment and affection for each other is so deep that if they are forced apart, they both suffer severe stress. Moms have been known to escape their enclosures and travel for miles looking for their calves.
Dolphins are known for graceful synchronized swimming, but dolphin mothers and their babies also synchronize their breathing for the first few weeks following the babies’ birth. These dedicated moms may nurse their young for up to 10 years and will also mentor less experienced females by allowing them to babysit as practice for when they have babies of their own.
Let’s hear it for single moms! These lightning-fast felines have their paws full caring for their cubs all on their own. Not only does mom protect her children from predators while she is nursing them, she also hunts for them from the time they are weaned until they are 14 to 18 months old. Overly active offspring can make the task of hunting even harder: Cubs often scare hunted animals away with their animated antics, leaving mom so worn out that she sometimes falls asleep in the middle of a hunt.
Nurturing begins in the nest for these caring moms. Mother hens will turn their eggs as many as five times an hour and cluck softly to their chicks, who chirp back to her and to one another from within their shells! Once chicks hatch, devoted moms use their wings to shield their babies from predators and have been known to refuse to leave their nests during a fire if they have newly hatched peeps.
♥️This Mother’s Day, please take a moment to recognize the unique bond between mothers and children of all species!
♥️To support all moms, go vegan, wear vegan fashion, use cruelty-free products, and never exploit animals in any other way!!!