The name of Anna Jarvis might not be familiar to you, but it was through her efforts that Mother's Day, which we celebrate today, came into being.
Jarvis, who hailed from Grafton, W.Va., is credited as being the driving force that led to President Woodrow Wilson's decision to declare the first national Mother's Day in 1914.
Since those humble beginnings, we have set aside the second Sunday in May as a day to honor Mom. And while greeting cards, jewelry, candy, flowers and dinner out certainly are appreciated, it's important to remember mothers on this one special day for all they have done, for all the special ways they make the lives of their children better and for all the love they give every day.
It's not just the 1950s ideal of the cookie-baking stay-at-home mom that deserves the honor, though surely those mothers are still a vital part of "modern" society and deserve high plaudits today.
It's not just the busy mom who juggles job and family and the needs to serve as chief transportation officer of her household.
It's not just the mom who forgives a thousand times, no matter the hurt that is created by the behavior of an adult child.
It's not only the mom who raises the family along with dad who is honored today.
It's the mother who works alongside the father to be sure there is continuity and stability in the life of the family.
It is the military mother who may be away from home now but who is setting the ultimate example of the true commitment a life of freedom takes.
It is the mother of a son or daughter, or wife of a husband, who is in harm's way protecting our freedoms. These women are due an extra hug and a show of appreciation today as a way to relieve, if just for a moment, the constant worry they must live with.
In all the different forms of life a mother may lead, truly the role is simple to define but hard to live up to.
Consider those who can only visit their mother in the graveyard today.
They will tell you about the hole they have in their lives, a hole that used to be filled by mom. And that hole is created no matter how old the child or how old the mother was when she died. We never stop needing to hear mom's voice.
Take time today to thank the woman, whether she is mother, stepmother, foster mother, aunt or grandmother, who has provided the nurturing to make you into someone of value and worth.
We wish every woman who has played a special role in the upbringing of a child a day filled with the joy that hearing "Thank you" or "I love you" from a child can bring.
Today is about mom, and we salute her.
Happy Mother's Day.