Mother's Day in the U.S. is this Sunday, the 10th of May
Mothering Sunday in the U.K. was the 22nd of March
They are hardly the same. In the U.S., we honor our Mothers and thank them for, well, just about everything. Flowers are usually in order, a meal out, and just generally a warm and fuzzy feel-good day for our Moms. Invented in 1907 by Anna Jarvis to honor her own mother, it took on larger proportions. By 1911, all states in the U.S. were celbrating Mother's Day. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson deemed it a national holiday, and by 1920 Hallmark ® was creating the lovely cards we have become accustomed to purchasing.
In the U.K., it appears it was originally a day where children who had left home, were allowed to go home again, or what was actually their "mother church." See: The Scotsman During the holiday, Lent fasting was relaxed in order to celebrate. (I know, if you have read any of my previous Diaspora, you would think... there she is talking about food again. Right. Not my intention this time.)
Over time, the location may be different, as well as the date, but the intention is still the same. We stop to honor our mothers. But this is 2020 and I loath to use the terminology that we have all come to associate with the coronavirus and how it has affected our lives. But there is no way to avoid it. Right now holidays are not the same. We have family members who have all but lost their means of income. Many might lose their homes. Families are separated. There is much to complain about. But I notice that most of us are not Eeyores. We are starting to see stories of those who refuse to give it all up.
And we have been there before. Whether the Depression, WWI, WWII, or more recent conflicts, many of us have given/lost much during our current predicament. So yes, these are tough times. We have been here before. So it is appropriate to share something I just received from one of our MacFarlane family.
Maxi Fitzjarrald, one of our founding members with Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, shared this with me last night. Although it was a birthday poem written by her father to her mother during a very sad time, it seemed fitting to share for Mother's Day. What follows is a moment of happiness shared then and now. And when you finish, whether or not it is Mother's Day, please remember your mom. Pick up the phone and talk to her, or write her an actual letter. Skype, email, or text her. But do this and remember that things will indeed get better, and sometimes, like right now, it really is just the thought that counts.
It was during hard times, similar to what we are considering hard times now. At that time, we were coming out of the depression and into World War II. Everyone was poor and did whatever it took to make a nickel.
My oldest brother was married and had a child and another on the way. My middle brother had joined the Army Air Corp and my youngest brother had joined the Navy Air Corp. Dad tried to enlist, but was too old, so he went away to work in the defense plant in Illiopolis, IL. He would be gone all week, renting a room in a private home there in Illiopolis, and come home for the weekend.
This letter was written October 5, 1942, by my Father in a letter to my Mother for her fiftieth birthday October 6, 1942.
The letter starts, “Dear Queen O My Heart.” It goes on to tell about his day and the other people that are renting rooms at the same home as he was. Then the letter continues….
“Well Honey child, there is no news, not even the dog died, so if I write it will just be to fill up space. Oh yes & tomorrow is your birthday and you will be fifty tomorrow.
“It was up in Minnesota in the country wild and free
There was a sweet maiden I used to go see
She was the sweetest girlie a man ever could see
I was twenty six and she was twenty three.
I courted her & won her just to be mine
Looking back thru the years it is not a very long time.
“But time goes along as we plainly can see,
For tomorrow she’s fifty & I’m fifty three.
She was fair as the lily & sweet as the rose,
& somehow I still love her where ever she goes.
“Sure she has changed a little, in her face a few wrinkles, in her hair a little grey
But her heart is warm & pure tho her hair is turning grey
& I want her to know I still love her in the same old loving way.
“So they say we are a lovin’ couple as you could ever see even if she is fifty & I’m fifty 3.
So tomorrow is her birthday and she is two & one half score.
Here I sit & wish her fully that many more,
here’s hoping fate will grant us to just go on together & many more good times to see
The double of this fifty and fifty 3.
“Just Read between the lines dear & u will read the rest. Love & xxxxoooo Dad”
Thank you dearest Maxi. We love your share.