This year celebrates 100 years since Anna Jarvis was successful in her movement to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States.
We were raised with our father telling us that “every day is Mother’s Day!" He was instilling in us the importance of appreciating a stay-at-home mom raising eight daughters and five sons. He was teaching us to say thank you.
I remember my mother rising early to fix breakfast for my father before he left to catch the 5am bus to his job. At 6 am she woke us up to get dressed and have a hot breakfast before leaving for school. As a child, I wondered what she did all day. I’m pretty sure the reason we had clean, pressed clothes, an immaculate house, and dinner ready when we arrived home -- yes, I’m pretty sure I grew to know what she was doing all day!
Do you remember the lyrics “I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan?" I fully expected my mother to get on this bandwagon! I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to get out there and make her own money. Why was she depending on her husband for her family’s needs? (Silly me!)
My mother and I would have tea together. This was “our time." Somehow, in the midst of raising 13 children, she was able to identify the individual needs of each of us. (“You can only know someone if you spend time with them.") Over a cup of tea (or two) life issues were addressed. (“Honey, consider this a “teachable moment.”) Sometimes tears flowed, but more often there was laughter (“If you don’t laugh you’ll surely cry.”) I loved our tea time!
My mother died July 24, 1998. I am so glad my father conveyed to us that every day with our mother was Mother’s Day. It wasn’t about presents, but daily appreciation for the tireless hours she spent teaching, encouraging, motivating, preparing, counseling and loving her children. And so much more!
“Raising children is a journey made up of twists, turns and occasional bumps. Regardless of the road, stay on it!” Thanks, Mom!
Ruth Jenerson is 58 years old and a Rochester OASIS member. She is an ordained minister and is the Director of Morning Start Community Services - a volunteer community outreach with its focus on school age children (5-12 years) and their families. She has one son, Jordan, age 24.