10 May 2009
Happy Mother's Day
Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, the mother of 11 children, only four of whom lived to adulthood. Prior and during the Civil War, Jarvis had seen enough death and decided to do something about poor sanitation in her hometown of Webster, Va.
So along with other mothers, Jarvis organized groups that inspected milk given to children, provided food for the poor, and cared for the families of tubercular mothers. When Webster was beset by an influx of U.S. Civil War soldiers, she cared equally for Union and Confederate men.
And when hostilities came to end, Jarvis recognized that her motherly role was not similarly at an end, so she held a special day for soldiers and their families -- a kind of reconciliation between North and South.
Jarvis died on May 9, 1905 -- the second Sunday in May. And in recognition of her mother's warmth, nurturance and unconditional love, her daughter Anna successfully lobbied to have the day celebrated in honour of all mothers.