2014 0511 mothers day breakfast

Happy Mother’s Day! May the barely warm toast and the grinds-floating-in-it coffee be the most delicious breakfast in bed you’ve ever tasted.

Here’s why that special meal, prepared with love, is really what this holiday is all about:

Mother’s Day in the United States dates back to 1908, when Anna Jarvis, the daughter of  West Virginia activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, organized family gatherings in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia and in Philadelphia, where she lived, and in several other cities, for children to honor their mothers.

2016_0508_Anna_jarvisAnna Jarvis was inspired by her own mother, an activist and pacifist who in the 1850s worked to improve sanitary conditions and lower infant mortality. During the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started a Mother’s Friendship Day for Union and Confederate loyalists across West Virginia. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides. After the war, she organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events “as pacifist strategies to unite former foes,” according to National Geographic.

She spent the rest of her life battling the commercialization of the holiday. She organized boycotts, threatened lawsuits and staged protests. It was a battle she was destined to lose, despite spending her entire inheritance on the fight.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.