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Sinclaire Sparkman: The daughter behind Mother’s Day

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated May 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, mom deserves the best. Having no children, I cannot say how rewarding it is or how difficult it is to raise children, but I know that all the moms out there who hold it together during tough times, give up that last piece of cake, miss out because they’re baby needs them and just make sacrifice after sacrifice, they’re truly unsung heroes. That’s what Mother’s Day is all about. 

See some great gift ideas for mom. 

The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson issued the proclamation for a public expression of reverence to mothers on May 9. The proclamation came as a result of a campaign started by Anna Jarvis, a daughter with a mission to honor her mother. When she lost her mother in 1905, Jarvis wanted to honor her giving spirit by creating a day to honor mothers everywhere. Jarvis was never a mother herself, but she stayed close to her mother through the years. 

Her mother was remembered as a pure soul who gave medical care to both Union and Confederates during the Civil War, attempted to foster peace between soldiers and gave women due credit for their often unnoticed work in the community and family. In fact, it was her mother’s idea to create a Memorial Mother’s Day. Jarvis worked tirelessly after her mother’s death to bring that dream to fruition. And she did. 

Today, we honor our mothers in a myriad of ways. Churches often give flowers and a special dedication to all mothers in the congregation. Radio stations ask for callers to tell them their favorite mom memory. Some of you readers may be planning to make mom breakfast in bed, give her the remote for the whole day or finally give her that poem you’ve been working on for months. We know moms are heroes and that recognition is because of a girl who never married or had children but knew how special it was to have a good mom. 

I know I’m especially thankful for my mom. She is always there when I need her. She has the best things to say even on her worst of days. She takes the time to listen and makes special steps to support my dreams and goals. I can’t say enough how honored I am to be her daughter. There just aren’t words that can capture the love of a mother, and most of us are aware that we can never make up for everything we put them through while we were growing up. The best part about moms though is that you never have to make up for any of the silly things you did as a child and teen. They love you by default no matter what. 

That’s why Mother’s Day exists, and that’s also probably why Anna Jarvis was frustrated by the commercialization of Mother’s Day after its official proclamation. She knew that no matter how many bouquets of flowers, special salads or gobs of jewelry we get for mom, there’s nothing we can do to match their love. Jarvis even got to the point of trying to trademark the carnation together with the words “Mother’s Day” to stop the floral industry’s blatant commercialization of the day, which was meant, in her words, “to be a day of sentiment, not profit.”

Arguments against commercialization usually boil down to the fact that the true meaning of the day gets lost in the fuss of buying things. Honoring your mom doesn’t stop with that white carnation or pretty pink sweater. Honoring your mom should be a regular thing, and you can do it with a simple text or phone call. Seriously, call your mom. 

In my opinion, though, this holiday is one where sentiment does win over buying too much stuff. If Jarvis saw our behavior these days on Black Friday or around Valentine’s Day, maybe she would be able to take a deep breath and give the floral industry a break. And that’s because her work was a catalyst for us to see moms as they truly are, the everyday hero of the modern world. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at ssparkman@lebanondemocrat.com and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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