Anna Jarvis - Trademark Holder

Anna Jarvis - Patent Holder
Anna Prior Jarvis was a West Virginian; probably spunky, sentimental, loyal and driven. Anna never married nor did she have children to honor her. She is the one who made Mother's Day the big deal it is and reportedly hated the commercialism that it became. This was before women could vote and the suffrage movement, although gaining speed, was just a dream for the future.

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases "Second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and created the Mother's Day International Association.  She specifically noted that "Mother's" should "be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world."  This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the United States, by the U.S. Congress in relevant bills, and by various U.S. presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother's Day.

There were others before Ann, but none of those efforts took hold. Now we are kinda into a day (some 105 years later) that bypasses the idea a bit what with all the cards and flowers, dinners and "visits to say hello".  Not that any of that is a bad 
Anna's Home in Webster
thing mind you, but the root of it, the realization that mother's of all types (great and not so great) put a lot of their lives, love, energies and worry (not to mention guilt!) into making you who you are and for that they deserve respect.

Some came at motherhood with none or few tools in the toolbox.  Others were naturals.  None of that, in the end, makes a lot difference and perhaps the best thing about the day is that it snaps us back to the reality of the effort and immense contribution made for us.  But then again, we need to be thinking of that the other 364 days and not just this coming weekend. In that light, mother's day is aimed squarely at us; to be better and more appreciative every day not just Sunday.  

It will be beautiful outside. Enjoy it.  Find her or remember her and take a minute - not for flowers and cards (although flowers and cards are a nice thing so don't get all crazy) but for a sincere thank you.