This Year Is The Mother Of All Mother’s Days

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2min 05sec
Matt Cavanaugh
A Mother’s Day postcard printed in 1913, purchased at Sweet William Antique Mall in Colorado Springs. Sweet William Antique Mall is an underwriter of KRCC.

The following is part of KRCC's 'Peak Past' essay series.

The woman who made Mother’s Day an official holiday wasn’t a mother herself. She had no children of her own. In fact, she stood outside motherhood and looked on with appreciation.

Many cultures through the ages have celebrated mothers, but the modern holiday began in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her own mom in West Virginia. 

She campaigned state by state until, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day a national holiday, the second Sunday in May. 

In my eyes, this year may just be the mother of all Mother’s Days. 

If you mothered your way through this year, you’re on par with some of the toughest mothers that have ever walked the Earth.

Since Ms. Jarvis’s holiday was born, mothers have endured the Great Depression, two world wars, and the worst those four apocalyptic horsemen could throw at us.

And this past year is right up there. School changed. Work changed. Everything changed. 

Moms carried emotional and physical burdens this past year, most of which we never saw. They kept families healthy and sane, sometimes at the cost of their own health and sanity.

Motherhood isn’t just nine months, a little labor, then that’s it. It’s lifelong care, lifelong concern, lifelong commitment. It’s finding patience when you’re impatient, it’s to reach for hope when there seems little cause for hope, it’s to love even when it seems the hardest thing to do is feel love. 

And so we all take our places alongside Anna Jarvis this Mother’s Day, standing in awe of what our mothers’ do. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you … and once more, we all thank you. Happy Mother’s Day!

Until our next mountainside chat — be good, be well, and no matter what, climb on.

Peak Past (formerly Peak Perspectives) is a weekly segment written and voiced by Matt Cavanaugh, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a resident of Manitou Springs where he lives with his wife and two young children. Through his writing, Cavanuagh explores life in the Pikes Peak region, including the gradients and subtleties of our lives in the shadow of America's Mountain. 

You can find more work by Cavanaugh here.

KRCC's Abigail Beckman manages the "Peak Past" series. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of KRCC or Colorado Public Radio.

Peak Past is sponsored by Pueblo Recycle Works and Gold Hill Mesa.