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Celebrate the Legacy of All Kinds of Motherhood on Mother’s Day

Associate Grace Mendez and her family: John Sr. (l.), John Jr., Norma, Grace, and Norma Wright in 1957.

Mother’s Day has been an official holiday since President Woodrow Wilson signed the measure in 1914. It was conceived by Anna Jarvis as a way to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

Her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, had started Mothers’ Day Work Clubs as a way to help West Virginia mothers learn how to properly care for their children.

Anna Jarvis herself never married and never had children. She argued that holidays in the United States were male-oriented and there needed to be something to honor women (“Mother’s Day 2021,” www.history.com).

Quite the legacy!

Grace’s mother, Norma Wilbur, in 1948

My mother worked to help the marginalized in Dubuque. I remember my mother’s sense of humor and how she wanted me to be someone who thought for herself, someone who could stand on her own, and help others to do so as well.

What am I doing to honor that? What can we do to show our feelings for the mothers in our lives? To honor the gifts and legacy they gave us?

I think of the other examples of motherhood in my life:

  • My mother-in-law, a deeply devout Catholic woman who was all about her family.
  • My daughter, who has the patience of Job with her 4 year-old-daughter.
  • My daughters-in-law, one who lost a son and showers her granddaughter with care, and one who is homeschooling their nine children with great organization and patient sharing of skills.
  • My best friends, a teacher and a nurse, who have shared their passion, gifts, and skills with countless others.
  • And Mary, mother of God, who teaches me to pray and to love.

Of course, there are many more examples of motherhood around me, and yes, some of them do not have children of their own, but mother the world.

They all challenge me to be better, to strive to serve others, to work for justice, to be a caring example of Christ’s love for all.

Happy Mother’s Day. God bless us, every one!

This Post Has 9 Comments
  1. What a wonderful tribute to your own mother, and to other women in your life! It is through their gifts that the kin*dom is revealed. Thank you for helping me think about those life-giving women in my own life, whether it be my own biological mother or other steadfast women.

  2. And let’s not forget the sisters-in-laws just old enough to demonstrate how to be excellent mothers to children slightly older than your own, who also add insights into their brothers and parents. I am eternally grateful for those women in my life too.

  3. Thank you Grace for sharing your inspiring words of wisdom. What would this world be like without the loving, caring, sacrificing, meal-making, party-making…women/mothers in our world today.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you Grace.

  4. Beautiful reflection on mothers and all women who mother others Grace. Thank you so very much. Love the pictures also!

  5. Thank you for pondering with me the gifts of mothers, biological and otherwise. Blessings of this special day to all.

  6. A lovely meditation on mothers and mothering, Grace. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and cheers for Anna Jarvis who provided the inspiration for Mothers Day.

  7. Thanks so much, Grace, for a heartfelt reflection. It encourages me to ponder all the “mothering” from so many persons in my life and hold them in gratitude and prayer.
    Marilyn

  8. I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day without remembering the multitude of BVMs who nurtured me and shaped my life from the time I was 5 years old to the present day when my BVM friends still uplift me and make me want to be a better person.

  9. Thank you, Grace, for sharing this beautiful tribute to the women in your life who tell the rest of us what MOTHER means and helps us reflect on our own mother giftedness.

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