Mother's Day is celebrated throughout the world in many ways and on many different days. The holiday was started in Grafton, West Virginia in 1907 by Anna Jarvis as a tribute to her mother, Ann Maria Reese Jarvis who founded The Mothers Day Work Clubs to improve health and sanitary conditions. The clubs also treated, fed and clothed wounded soldiers during the U. S Civil War.
She grew disenchanted after the commercialization of the holiday and actively campaigned against it. According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. As she said,
A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.
She never married and had no children.
In Pre Castro Cuba we had what I thought was a beautiful tradition. Everyone got dressed and went to church wearing a carnation in honor of one's mother. Red if your mother was alive, white if she had passed away. Better than a printed card no?
In honor of my favorite Madame Mere, tomorrow I will be proud to wear a red carnation.