Grif.Net

05/07/16 Weekend Grif.Net – Memories are Fleeting

05/07/16 Weekend Grif.Net – Memories are Fleeting

This =
Sunday we remember and honor mothers on the anniversary of the first =
national Mother’s Day.  That fame often is fleeting, and the =
memories of most men and women short, hits home once more by the story =
of the founder of Mother’s Day.

Miss Anna =
M. Jarvis got the idea of having a day set aside when men and women =
throughout the nation would pay special honors to their mothers. Anna =
Jarvis’ own mother, Mrs. Ann Reeves Jarvis, had died on the second =
Sunday in May, 1905, the reason she chose that particular Sunday to be =
designated as Mother’s Day.

Anna, a =
graduate of Augusta Female Seminary in Staunton, Virginia, taught with =
her mother in the Sunday school of Andrews Methodist Church. Her mother =
Ann had worked all her life to organize the mothers of the Union and =
Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in an effort to develop =
friendships again.  During that time her mother laid plans to set =
aside a day in honor of the mothers of the world, but never lived to see =
that vision completed.

With the =
passing of both her mother and father, Anna invited some friends to her =
home in Philadelphia in 1907 to commemorate the anniversary of her =
mother’s death. There she announced plans to make Mother’s =
Day a national observance on the second Sunday in May. She arranged for =
her home church in Grafton, West Virginia, to celebrate a Mother’s =
Day in honor of her mother, and on May 10th, 1908, the first =
Mother’s Day church service was held. Two years later, Governor =
William E. Glasscock of West Virginia officially proclaimed the first =
Mother’s Day.

In those =
early days in Philadelphia, Anna Jarvis personally paid to have =
carriages take old people and invalids to church on Mother’s Day. =
She bought and gave away hundreds of carnations, the emblem she herself =
had designated. There were expensive trips abroad to spread the custom =
of Mother’s Day in Europe. Anna wrote personally to editors, =
ministers, presidents and even to kings.

Gradually, as she got more and more wrapped up in =
spreading this holiday she’d created, she found companionship with Elsa, =
her blind sister. The two aging women kept the furnishings as they had =
been during their mother’s lifetime. All of their money was spent =
on the cause that seemed to have become her one interest in life. Their =
brother Claude Jarvis had left both of his sisters well provided for in =
his will when he died in 1926 but legal and technical complications =
arose, and the sisters failed to receive a =
penny.

They =
struggled along as best they could until the day when Anna Jarvis’ eyes =
began to get dim. Finally she was nearly as sightless as her sister. By =
this time few people remembered that this shriveling little old lady =
once had been an internationally known figure.

A =
concerned doctor who had found no help for Anna’s near blindness =
was concerned and asked a welfare worker to be sure she was getting =
proper care. There in an unheated house the two invalid sisters were =
near starvation when found. Anna Jarvis, the spinster who founded =
Mother’s Day years earlier, seemed doomed to a lonely and =
penniless old age.

Anna =
suffered a nervous collapse and was hospitalized. Elsa was cared for by =
social service until her death in 1941. And there the story might have =
ended . . . but word of Miss Jarvis’ unhappy situation finally came to a =
lawyer and some family friends who donated money for her to have a =
private room in a sanitarium.

As the =
message of the pitiable case of founder of this holiday spread, many =
started sending contributions for her welfare. Florists from every state =
and the makers of Mother’s Day cards also contributed to the =
cause.

Some of =
the money donated was used to erect a memorial to Mother’s Day. So =
widespread became the observance of Mother’s Day that in 1934 the =
US Government issued a stamp honoring Mother’s Day, bearing =
Whistler’s famous portrait of his mother.

Let =
Mother’s Day bring happiness where it can to those whose mothers =
are living, and let it turn the key of loving remembrance upon the =
cherished days of the past where that is our only recourse, and together =
we will have observed the day in keeping with its high and lovely =
purpose.

~~

Dr Bob Griffin

bob@grif.net www.grif.net

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"