By Martin | Wednesday, May 6, 2015 | 12:55 PM
I will give you a few clues and you name the holiday started by Anna Jarvis in 1908. She came up with the idea to honor her mother who helped wounded men on both sides of the Civil War. She maintained a household, was a peacemaker, took a covered wagon full of kids to soccer practice at 3:00 and then piano at 6:00, and never complained to her husband about him always sitting in the recliner with a remote control, a bag of chips, and a lazy Chihuahua. Did you guess April Fools Day? You were close and you should be ashamed for thinking it. The answer is Halloween. No, wait. Halloween is for Mothers-in-law. The correct answer is Mother's Day. Anna came up with the idea in church, where a lot of great ideas usually die in committee, but this one survived. President Woodrow Wilson, who owned a chain of floral shops, a catfish house, and a sporting goods store made it official. It is the biggest dining out day of the year and used to be the day with the most long distant collect calls. Now, moms get a visit through Facetime,Skype, or unlimited texting.
Oddly enough, it was intended as a day of honor, not a day of profit. When my mother was alive I used to honor her by allowing her to cook roast beef for Mother's Day dinner after church. It was quite an honor. Mothers need to be honored, possibly something more tangible than what I did. I grew up in Arkansas. My parents always took their vacations in the summer so my mom could visit her mother in Colorado. She got to see her mother one time a year. My mother always cried when we left to come home. I didn't understand why. I thought it was the mountains. That was part of it. The rest of it was idea of not seeing her mother for another year. Colorado is still my favorite place in the world.
When I was a baby my mother rocked me and sang to me. So did my brother but he used real rocks and I didn't care much for his singing. My mother's rocking and singing was calming and soothing. As a young child I sometimes got scared during a thunderstorm. It wasn't long before I climbed into bed with my parents, dragging my Chihuahua, Pancho, along. Dad was okay but he snored. My mother didn't sing during the storm but I felt her music. I wasn't scared anymore. As an older child playing baseball I didn't always pitch perfect games. During one particularly bad outing the other team began yelling at me. I shed a few tears and looked into the stands. My mother was smiling and clapping. I felt her arms around me and I could hear her song. I felt good but didn't understand her tears.
I graduated from high school and my mother cried. I went off to college and she cried. I graduated from college and she cried. I got my master's degree at seminary in Texas and she cried again. I quit going to school after that. I thought she was silly. Of course the first thing I did when I got lonely was call home . . . collect. I got that hug over the phone, some more encouragement and once again felt her music. Several years after seminary I married Beverly and my mother cried at the wedding. I know what you are thinking but it was not because of Beverly. I assumed she didn't like the music.
It is Mother's Day, 2015. My mother has been gone 15 years. I understand things now. A child may be the one injured, whether physically or emotionally, but a mother always feels the pain and shares the scar. I miss the vacations in Colorado, the hugs, the smiles, the laughter at my lame jokes, and even the tears. But I can still hear her song of love. All through my ministry I have felt the hugs and sensed the smiles. I wonder what she would think about her two boys and our five grandchildren and another one on the way. Whenever I am with my family I think about my mother and I can hear her music in the background. The old saying is true . . . a mother's work is never done. And thank God, neither is her song.