Friday, May 7, 2010

True History of Mother's Day

I'm lifting this from Kara Jones post over at FaveCraftsBlog- to read her whole post click here. And if you have a few minutes, visit Kara's blogs and Kota:Knowing Ourselves Through Art

...They were handing out fliers sharing the writing of Julia Ward Howe, first published in 1870 as a protest against the carnage and violence of the Civil War. This was a protest led by women whose sons had died! Bereaved mothers started this tradition of Mothers Day! In the beginning, this was a day of protest, an expression of horrified grief from bereaved mothers who were parted from their sons!! Wow. Okay. That’s a different spin.

So what did Julia have to say back in 1870? You read and see for yourself:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe

Mothers Day came as an answer to Julia’s proclamation. It started as a ceremony of bereavement and then as a movement for peace and action to stop the senseless deaths of children everywhere. Our society can commercialize all they want. Because in my heart of hearts I know the real meaning of this day came from pain, loss, and grief — the same things I am prone to feel on any given Mothers Day. And from now on, when people urge me to celebrate the day, I tell them this:

I’ll celebrate with you if you will first mourn with me. It is the combination of the two that lends itself to the true meaning of Mothers Day!


Rachel said...

I am sitting here trying to put into words what I want to say, but the words escape me. I truly did not know this story. Thank you for posting this.

Lisette said...

Very interesting, thank you for sharing this post.

The Blue Sparrow said...

Wow, I never in a million years would have guessed that to be. But I am glad that I know now the origins of this day. *HUGS*

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing this. ((HUGS))

Maggie said...

I never knew that! Thank you for sharing.

Kara Chipoletti Jones of GriefAndCreativity dot com said...

Hey Em, thanks so much for sharing this forward here on Stepping Stones! So glad it means much to so many to know about the history. And how cool that the FaveCrafts folks were willing to share forward there this year, too. I keep thinking that women of our grandmothers' generation were so isolated because they didn't have this kind of means to find their tribe! I'm so honored to connect with all of you -- to know there are other mothers like me -- though I do always wish we were finding each other for different reason...

And Em, wanted to send you extra special hugs -- isn't Gabriel's day very soon? Sending you gentle, supportive vibes as always! xoxooxxo k-

Christy Schaefer said...

As a bereaved mother myself, I thank you for sharing this. As each person acknowledges that we are mothers as well, a bit more of the stigma gets wiped away and we are that much more free to grieve.

Unknown said...

I had read about the origination of Mother's Day. I wish that some of the original intent still remained.