By LARRY M. JONES
For those of you who might not be aware of this bit of trivia, 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of Mother’s Day in the United States. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it an official national holiday in 1914 and we have celebrated it each year since.
Originally begun just after the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe led a movement to support disarmament, and attempted to set up a “Mother’s Day for Peace” to promote this cause. Several of these early organizations of pacifist mothers against war gained support on the local level only. The current holiday as we celebrate today was the brain child of Anna Jarvis of Grafton, WV who pushed it to national prominence. It is ironic to note that within a few years, she adamantly opposed this very holiday she helped create because it had become so commercialized. In this regard, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for sales of greeting cards (Ms. Jarvis referred to it as a Hallmark Holiday), flower sales, and generates the most long distance calls of any holiday.
The United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May of each year, and the majority of the nations around the world do likewise, particularly English speaking ones. In recognition of the role of mothers, almost all nations throughout the world have a day to honor them. Even in those countries where women are often relegated to the role of chattel, the status of motherhood is highly respected.
There is probably no instinct or emotion on earth as overpowering as that of a mother protecting her young. When the good Lord set things up, he did a fine job of instilling this motherly love in all animals of higher order. Just this past week I witnessed these emotions up close and personal. One of my older cows was having difficulty calving, and it was necessary to assist her by pulling the calf, not that uncommon of an occurrence in the cattle business. My daughter Lori was assisting me with this unpleasant chore, and we had to be particularly mindful that momma cow did not want us around messing with her and her baby. I cannot help but think of my friend and neighbor Jimmy Hall, a longtime cattleman. A few years ago he was checking on some cows that were due to calve, and got out of his pickup and walked into a dry creek bed where he saw a suspicious looking cow. Just as he approached her, he noticed that somehow he had gotten between the cow and her newborn calf. Momma was not amused. Jimmy recalled that he knew he was in trouble when he saw tree branches passing on his way up, and saw them again as he came down landing on his shoulder, severely dislocating it. Even though he was badly injured, momma wasn’t through, so she came back for a couple more rounds. Jimmy barely made it back to the house, was hospitalized for quite some time, and was laid up for almost a year.