by Donna McBride, Program Administrator/Public Information Officer, CASA Unit of Pinal County Juvenile Court
During the 1860s, one West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” bringing together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers. Fifty-eight years later President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in 1910 by the state of Washington.
Greeting card companies prospered by the two days, selling 230 million cards. But it is so much more than just cards. It’s about love, tradition and gratitude. It is also about disappointment and heartache.
Families spend the day sharing flowers (and cards) and family barbecues. For many of us, we are celebrating our parents with aching hearts because they have passed away.
Others pay no mind to either day because they are too busy. But for many children, there is no celebration. They have been removed from their homes because of neglect and abuse and are being raised by their grandparents or in foster homes.
Do you remember in grade school during art class making your own personalized cards for these special days?
I remember sharing a conversation with a boy who had been in foster care. He told me he would “pretend” when making the card because he was so embarrassed to admit he had no mother. She disappeared from his life when he was 10. His friends didn’t know. His teacher didn’t know.
He made the most beautiful card ever to illustrate what he would do if he had a “real mom.”
The point is … mother and father are names given to people who deserve the respect. It doesn’t mean you have to be blood. It means you have to care enough to open your home, your heart and your mind to accept those who need it most.
I was lucky. Even though my dad died when I was 10, my Mama Tess filled both roles. She was loving, responsible, and I miss her every day.
I still circle the calendar because I still celebrate my dad for loving me, my Mama Tess for guiding me all those years. And especially for my own sons Jereme and Justin for allowing me to be their mom.
Celebrate those who make you feel special, and never underestimate the power of a homemade card, a kind word, or a memory.
Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Father’s Day.