Today is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day, a holiday originally celebrated by wearing a single white carnation.
Today, however, a full basket of flowers, cards, balloons, cakes, gift baskets, parties and special meals mark the sentimental occasion. According to a survey conducted for the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out on, with 38 percent of consumers doing so.
With an estimated $15.8 billion in spending, slightly more than Easter, Mother’s Day is the second most popular holiday for gift-giving, following Christmas. In 1914, Congress designated the second Sunday in May as ‘Mother’s Day.’ According to Hallmark’s corporate information, Mother’s Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States, with 133 million cards exchanged annually. For the Hispanic community, however, Mother's Day is the largest card-sending holiday. More Americans are also expected to make long distance calls on this day than on any other holiday.
Mothers and their children in the Cleveland area expressed their thoughts on what Mother’s Day means to them and how they plan to celebrate it.
Tammy Blackwell of Cleveland said, “For me personally, Mother’s Day is a day to reflect on exactly what God has blessed me with. Every year on Mother’s Day I wake up feeling humble just knowing that I have two daughters who love me as much as I love them, and to give glory to God for my own mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer around this same time last year.
“It’s also important for me to take some time at Mother’s Day to sit and reflect on my own personal feelings about being a mother. Some days are harder than others, but even on the toughest days I focus on one of my favorite Bible verses: Proverbs 22:6. My role as a Mother is one that I love, appreciate and acknowledge every day of the year.”
Jessica Carrasquillo said, “I’ve been so blessed with my boys! Joseph and Daniel are always conscious about letting me know that I’m appreciated and loved. They will randomly bring me flowers or do an act of kindness for me. I feel like I get Mother’s Day more than once a year.”
Lindsey Soto admitted, “I never knew I was self-centered until my daughter, Audrey, was born. Then I learned that personal time became a rarity. My food was no longer ‘my food,’ and some days my beautification process would be severely shortened and possibly nonexistent. I had committed to a life that caused me to place my needs last for this precious angel who could not defend herself against the world. It was MY job to protect her, no matter the cost.
“I think a lot about Hannah in 1Samuel Chapter 1. When at the temple she had desired a child so deeply that during prayer she was ridiculed and called a drunk while petitioning the Lord to give her a child. She was so desperate to see this need met that she promised to give him back to the Lord.
“I admire Hannah because what she did was give her child a chance at greatness. God honored her request and Samuel became one of the most influential prophets of the Old Testament. Mother’s Day is a day to remember that it’s more about sacrifice than a pampering session — a day to focus and evaluate ourselves — to be a mirroring image of Proverbs 31. So, this Mother’s Day I am remembering that God can use the willing heart of a woman to produce a spirit of excellence in her offspring.”
Elisa Bracero, a mother of three, said, “I live and breathe for my children. They are capable of bringing tears to my eyes or a smile to my face in an instant. I will sacrifice for their well-being without hesitation. They are my life, and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. My mother is my rock. She keeps me focused on what is important. She reminds me to take care of myself. If I turn out to be half of the woman she is, I would be awesome!! Love you, Mom.”
Reflecting on what their mother, Rebecca Sorrells, means to them, daughter Laura Sorrells Wilson said, “During my times of trouble Mom always knows the right thing to say. Mother has had her share of heartaches and often quotes Abraham Lincoln, saying, ‘I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.’ or ‘This too shall pass.’ Along with tomato soup and a grilled cheese with Mom’s words of wisdom, she always knows how to comfort me and make everything better.”
Daughter Jill Sorrells Wooden added, “My mother is one of a kind! My daddy passed away when I was a baby, but Momma stayed strong for my sister and I, setting an example with her determination, cheerful and positive attitude. Momma taught me to always be kind to everyone because everyone we meet is carrying some kind of burden.
“She taught me, as well as all her school children, that when people act badly on the outside they feel twice as bad on the inside. Momma unselfishly gives of her time to anyone who needs it. She is a ray of sunshine with laughter and love! My greatest compliment is when others tell me: ‘You’re so much like your mother.’ She is not only my mother, but my very best friend!”
Rebecca Sorrells said she not only appreciates her daughters’ expressions but wished to attribute her success as a mother to the example set by her own mother, Bonnie Adkisson Grizzard.
“Words are inadequate in expressing what my mother meant to me,” Rebecca said. “My mother was a walking, talking example of the joy of the Lord. She had a quality about her that is often missing in today’s culture. My mother had class. She worked hard all of her life, helping to support our family. But she did so with grace and a loving, cheerful heart. I remember a quote that reminds me so much of Momma and Daddy. ‘They didn’t tell us how to live; they lived and let us watch them do it.’ Their example lives on through me, my children and grandchildren.”
According to Forbes, the No. 1 gift moms want for Mother’s Day is “Well-behaved kids” (54 percent), followed by time for themselves (29 percent). The one thing moms did not want this year, according to the survey, is “excessive spending.” Only 3 percent said they wanted a purchased gift like roses, chocolate or Sunday brunch.
However families choose to honor their maternal parent — daily, annually, in word or in deed, millions of children, young and old, will be celebrating the endearing and enduring love of their precious mother.