Happy Mother’s (Fighting For Others) Day!

I’ve always felt a special connection to Mother’s Day.

If you’re from West Virginia, you are probably among the minority of people who can name the woman who started Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, and her Mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis.  If you’re from Grafton, WV, as I am, you couldn’t escape Mother’s Day history if you wanted to. Grafton is home to the International Mother’s Day shrine and the site of the first Sunday service honoring Mothers.  It is the pride of a city that has seen much better days. And that history has always been a source of pride for me as well.

Today, my feeling of connection springs from a different source. Because what many don’t know is that the first Mother’s Day was organized by Anna Reeves Jarvis as a day to “raise awareness of poor health conditions” in her Appalachian community, “a cause she believed would be best advocated by Mothers. She called it ‘Mother’s Work Day.'” Anna was a Mother fighting for others.

So, today I say Happy Mother’s Day with a renewed sense of pride and in the spirit that Anna Reeves Jarvis originally intended.


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