Ring in Mother's Day with gratitude for care

Anyone know what day of the year sees more phone traffic than any other?

That’s right, Mother’s Day, which this year falls on Sunday, May 10, in the United States. Phone calls typically rise by as much as 37 percent, as dutiful sons and daughters across the country get on the phone to convey something of the gratitude, love, and appreciation they feel for the person who brought them into the world.

There is a reason we celebrate Mother’s Day in May. This special day has its origins in the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, this was a time for the faithful to come home and attend a special service at the “mother church” in the town where they were raised.

In our country

The Mother’s Day we observe in the United States grew out of Mothering Sunday. It was the special project of a woman from West Virginia who had lost her own mother a few years before.

In May of 1908, Anna Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of the month to recognize the many sacrifices mothers make for their children.

For years, she campaigned to make it an official holiday and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

Placing the apostrophe

A frequently overlooked fact about Mother’s Day is the apostrophe placement. If all mothers are honored on this day, why not write it plural, Mothers’ Day?

Anna Jarvis made a specific point of naming it with the singular Mother’s in order “for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.” That makes sense.

It is not the idea of motherhood that we honor on Mother’s Day, but the actual moms who played such an important role in the upbringing and care of each of us.

Moms and mental health

It is perhaps a fitting coincidence that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). Parenting has become more of a team effort through the years, but mothers are often the primary caregivers, and nothing needs caring like the appearance of a mental health problem in someone you love. At Community Reach Center, we very much appreciate the roles mothers play in good mental health practices, such as self-care and seeking assistance when needed. 

This coming Sunday I will be honoring my own mother, Rose, as well as Christine, the mother of my son and my lovely wife of 25 years. And especially for this year we would like to declare this Sunday “Mothers’ Day” (notice the placement of the apostrophe) in honor of all moms and female caregivers.

Let’s take it upon ourselves to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and social distancing and find a way to express appreciation on Mother’s Day – even if it’s just on the phone, in a card or a drive-by wave while throwing kisses.

Thank you for your caring, and Happy Mothers’ Day to all of you!

Here for you

This column was contributed by Program Manager James Kuemmerle with assistance by Wellness and Care Coordinator Nicole Hartog with the Senior Reach program at Community Reach Center. If you have any questions about where to turn for help for older adults, please reach out to the Senior Reach team at Community Reach Center at 303-853-3657. The Senior Reach provides treatment for depression and trauma, as well as many other mental disorders. Please don’t hesitate to seek assistance. Also, remember the Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC) center, 2551 W. 84th Ave., in Westminster is open 24 hours.

To learn more about Community Reach Center, a nonprofit mental health center with numerous outpatient offices in north metro Denver, visit www.communityreachcenter.org or call 303-853-3500. Community Reach Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services for all ages at locations in Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City, Brighton and Broomfield. As always, we are here to enhance the health of our community. Mental wellness for everyone is our goal.