Mothers have been celebrated in verse, prose, and song for thousands of years. Yet deep feelings for a dear mother are often hard to speak or write about.
Thanks to Anna Jarvis of West Virginia, people in countries around the world have this day in May to wrap up tributes, however simple, and deliver them to that special mother. In a desire to fulfill her own mother’s hope that “sometime, somewhere, someone will found a Mother’s Day,” Mrs. Jarvis quit her job, wrote letters, and campaigned for such a celebration.
Ever since May 9, 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation, families have gathered on the second Sunday in May. From Belgium and Denmark to America and Australia, homemade cards and meals, spring bouquets, or special treasures honor mothers.
As we prepare for this Mother’s Day, here are some tributes to mothers from some famous sources to consider:
“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Attributed to Abraham Lincoln
“Men are what their mothers made them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Of my mother I cannot speak as I would, for memory recalls qualities to which the pen can never do justice.” – Mary Baker Eddy
“According to my method of thinking, and that of many others, not woman but the mother is the most precious possession of the nation, so precious that society advances its highest well-being when it protects the functions of the mother.” – Ellen Key
“…what DO girls do who haven’t any mothers to help them through their troubles?” – Louisa May Alcott
“…mothers of the human race, the most important actors in the grand drama of human progress …” -Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Ah, lucky girls who grow up in the shelter of a mother’s love — a mother who knows how to contrive opportunities without conceding favors, how to take advantage of propinquity without allowing appetite to be dulled by habit.” – Edith Wharton
“A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
“The best academy, a mother’s knee.” – James Russell Lowell
“For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” – William Ross Wallace
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed …” – Proverbs 31:28
And from some not so famous sources:
“You mean everything good to me.” – Julie, age 7
“I don’t love my mother just because she’s nice. I’d love her even if she were mean. I love her because she loves me.” – Siobhan, age 8
“My mom is always involved in so many things that I get to meet lots of new people. She always knows what I’m doing. We always need two more hours in a day to do things. We work together, on homework, on my bike.” – David, age 10
“Mother takes care of me and buys me things I like. She’s the best mother I’ve ever had!” – Tracy, age 7