“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:7-8). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3). There is a place of honor given to certain individuals, the Bible recognizes this and it is right and good to honor these who are so close to us. We are not to place individuals above God; we are not to worship them, but we can give them honor. Today has been set aside for us to honor our mothers. We may honor them in many ways. We may honor them with flowers or a present of some sort. We may honor them with cards which tell our sentiments better than we could write out. We may honor them by thinking of the good that they have done for us. We may honor them because they have taught us and lead us down the path that we are now treading. We may have thought that our mothers’ were the meanest or cruelest mother on earth, but as we have progressed in years we now realize that they were neither mean nor cruel. They were with loving guidance directing our ship in the proper direction. When we talk of mother’s they can touch the deepest emotions that a person can have. That is because our mothers are our image of love. They have held us when we were scared from the monsters that we either in the closet or under the bed. Mothers are the one who helped us when we were sick. They held our hands, the comforted us as no one else could. Let us always honor our mother’s or the memory of our mother’s.

The story of how Mother’s day came about can be found in many places. In the book, “All the Women of the Bible” we find this story. “That fame often is fleeting – and the memories of most men and women short- has been brought home once more by the pathetic story of Anna M. Jarvis, who is the founder of Mother’s Day.”

“If it hadn’t been for the philanthropic spirit of a few Philadelphians who came to her rescue recently, the blind and penniless 83-year old woman would have been doomed to spend the last months of her life alone in a charity hospital.”

“It was over 60 years ago that Miss 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, and that is why this particular Sunday has been designated as Mother’s Day. It was first celebrated in a tiny church in Grafton, West Virginia, the town where Anna was born.”

“Anna Jarvis was 10 at the time and attended the church with her parents and brothers and sisters. At the age of 20 she was graduated from Augusta Female Seminary at Staunton, Virginia, and returned home to teach in the public schools.”

“She also taught with her mother in the Sunday school of Andrews Methodist Church. 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 her work completed.”

“On December 31, 1902 the father died and Mrs. Jarvis and her children moved to Philadelphia to live with a son, Claude. Three later on May 9, 1905 Mrs. Jarvis died.”

“In 1907, Miss. Jarvis invited some friends to her home in Philadelphia to commemorate the anniversary of her mother’s death and announced plans to make Mother’s Day a national observance on the second Sunday in May.”

“Next, Miss. Jarvis wrote L.L. Lear, superintendent of Andrews Sunday school, with the suggestion the church celebrate a Mother’s Day in honor of her mother.”

“One Sunday, May 10, 1908, the first Mother’s Day church service was held at Andrews Church. Two years later, Governor William E. Glasscock of West Virginia officially proclaimed the first Mother’s Day.”

“Although a sincere devotion and a deep realization of her loss undoubtedly were behind the movement, the real beginning of Mother’s Day might be said to go back to the time just after the Civil War when Anna’s own mother organized the Union and Confederate mothers of her little community in a effort to get the boys in blue and the boys in gray to be friends again.”

“Anna carried this memory on.”

“In those early days in Philadelphia, Anna Jarvis paid out of her own pocket to have carriages take old people and those who were 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 the thing she’d created she lost contact with most of her friends and her only close companion was Elsa, the blind sister with whom she lived alone in a rambling Philadelphia house. There the two aging women kept the furnishings as they had been during their mother’s lifetime.”

“Claude Jarvis, a bachelor brother and a shrewd business man, thought that he had left both sisters well provided for in his will when he died in 1926. But as a result of various legal and technical complications, the Jarvis sisters failed to receive the inheritance the brother had intended for them.”

“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.”

“No one paid any heed to the comings or goings of the woman anymore. But the doctor she finally consulted about her eyes was worried after he’s sent her home without hope of ever regaining the full use of her sight.”

“He asked a welfare worker to go around to find out if Miss Jarvis was getting proper care- not realizing that it was her responsibility to do the caring for someone who was worse off than herself.”

“There, in a big, chilly house the investigator found a true case of the blind leading the blind. And the two invalid sisters were near starvation when found. Anna Jarvis, the spinster who founded Mothers’ Day over 60 years ago, seemed doomed to a lonely and penniless old age.”

“Miss Anna had suffered a nervous collapse and was sent to the city hospital. Elsa was cared for by social service until her death in 1941.”

“And there the story might had ended with the woman who had devoted so many years of her life to honoring the world’s mothers eventually dying alone and friendless.”

“But word of Miss Jarvis’ unhappy situation finally came to a lawyer who had known her from the time when he was a little boy.”

“He called together the few men and women who still felt a friendly regard for the now helpless old lady and digging down into their own pockets they built up a fund large enough to move her to a luxurious private room in a sanitarium where her every whim would be provided for the rest her days.”

“When word got around about the way these sons and daughters of Philadelphia had rallied to help the founder of Mother’s Day other people started sending contributions for her welfare.”

The article goes on to talk about the sacrifices mother’s the world over have made. The plea is for us to honor our mother not just on this day but every day. Let us do this with grateful hearts.

Love, Keith

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