Mothers warm the heart

Published 8:45 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

If you haven’t called your mom, then stop and do so before reading another word of this editorial in celebration of those women who have given birth or given life to a child through adoption or a foster home.

Women make the world an easier place in which to live. They are the apple pies cooling in the window; the cool hand on a hot forehead in time of illness and many times, the calm voice in the middle of an emotional storm.

How many times have you watched a mom enter a child’s play a little late because she had to finish her shift at work, clean up and rush over to the school? How many kitchens see moms late at night, baking cupcakes or cookies for the children’s class parties or birthdays? How many of us have seen our mothers struggle bravely with her own demons without ever mentioning them to the children because she didn’t want to worry them?

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There are the other mothers, who frustrate and meddle and can’t keep their mouths shut, but they do it out of love and concern. They are not our enemies; they just have a different way of caring.

Julia Ward Howe was a prominent abolitionist, poet and social activist. We know her mostly as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” But she also was the first in 1870 to proclaim Mother’s Day as a pacifist reaction to the Civil War. In part, this proclamation says:

“Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,

Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

Happy Mother’s Day.