A heavenly tale for Mother’s Day


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a celebration of the bond that mothers share with their children. Mother’s Day dates back to the early 1900s when Anna Jarvis marked the day after her mother’s passing as a way to honor the sacrifices mothers make for their children.

Jarvis never married and didn’t have children of her own. However, she had many friends who were mothers, and she felt they, along with her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, deserved recognition. In 1907, Jarvis held a private Mother’s Day celebration in memory of her beloved mother.

In 1908, Jarvis organized a service in the Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, which was attended by 407 children and their mothers. The church has become the International Mother’s Day Shrine. It is a tribute to all mothers and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Jarvis began a huge campaign, sending letters to politicians and newspapers asking for support to adopt a day dedicated to mothers. Her campaign was financially supported by John Wanamaker, a clothing merchant from Philadelphia. Her efforts were rewarded in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May; the tradition is celebrated annually on May 10 in Mexico. Similar celebrations to honor mothers take place on various days of the year in other countries, often following ancient or religious traditions.

Here is a conversation a baby in heaven had with God:

“They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

“Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

The child inquired, “But, tell me, what will I do? Here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile and be happy.”

God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. You will feel your angel’s genuine love and warmth, and you will be very happy.”

Again, the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”

God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear; and with much patience and care, your angel will lovingly teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

God said, “Your guardian angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“Who will protect me?”

God said, “Your angel will defend you at all costs, even if it means risking its own life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment, there was much peace in heaven, but voices from earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

God replied, “You will call her Mother.”

God knows how special mothers are. I will forever be grateful for the wonderful mother He selected for me. If I had a flower for every time I think of my mom, I would have the most beautiful flower garden in Shawano.

As a daughter, I have felt that special love. As a mother myself, the love I feel for my children is overwhelming. I hope all mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, mother figures and their children have felt that same love.

To my two beautiful children, Amy and Daniel, I love you more than life itself. To the mothers of my grandchildren, Amy and Karen, thank you for giving me such precious grandchildren (Jeff, Morgan and Mason) To Amanda, the mother of my great-grandchildren, thank you for blessing my life with Brody, Ian, Taylor and Daxton.

Thanks be to God who created and loves all mothers everywhere.

Answer to last week’s question: The founders of the Shawano United Fund Inc. are M. Eugene Zeuske and Florian Van Dyke.

This week’s question: Who was the largest employer in Shawano County in 1974?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.