Mother’s Day Cards

| May 14, 2023

Mother’s Day. A holiday made up to sell flowers, greeting cards, and candy that has become part of our cultural landscape. To some, it is indicative of all the evils of Capitalism – create a need, market a product that addresses the need and over time, those who do not participate are publicly shamed. Or, looked upon with pity.

If a person stands up against this most wholesome of holidays, it must be due to a bad experience with a mother, the inability to achieve motherhood, failure to engender warm feelings with their own offspring, or misogyny. Whatever their reason, they mock the rest of society for being played as fools, falling for this made-up virtue signaling.

The one point on which they are not completely wrong, it being a made up holiday, is still wrong about the motivation for the creation of the day. The holiday was conceived by a woman who wanted to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children shortly after the death of her own mother.

The concept of protesting Mother’s Day came from this same person as well. Her objection was over the commercialization, but she did not hold any particular venom for Capitalism, nor did she have deep-seated political views. Her mission was simply to honor mothers, and she campaigned relentlessly against anyone who used the day for their own agenda. She even found herself at odds with the suffragette movement who used the growing popular sentiment for the day in their efforts to secure the women’s vote.

The speed at which this idea of honoring mothers caught the imagination of the country is astounding. Within a few short years, it went from a simple service with white carnations in a small-town Methodist church in West Virginia, to being declared a National holiday by President Woodrow Wilson. This could only happen because the idea spoke to something primal in all of us.

Mankind has always, in various ways, mythologized motherhood. The shock of the Oedipus story is not the son falling in love with his mother, but the mother reciprocating and engaging in carnal relations with her son. Motherhood is synonymous with love, care, tenderness, of the ideal to which we turn in times of joy, and in times of trouble. Throughout history, soldiers on the battlefield cried out to their mothers as often as they did to their gods.

Less then three months after Wilson’s creation of this national holiday what came to be known as The War to End All Wars broke out in Europe. Three years later the United States entered the war, and 1917 was the first time American mothers were forced to celebrate this day created for them while their sons, often their first born, were far away fighting in war. The War Department encouraged sons to write to their mothers, to let them know that even during the great conflagration engulfing the European continent the importance of honoring their mothers was not lessened. Those letters were often full of a profound poignancy, a boy corresponding with his mom while doing man’s hardest work.

Some were fortunate, blessed that their sons had participated in the newly created holiday before their military service. The loving words in those schooldays created cards and notes became fragile and brittle from the repetitive folding and unfolding of weekly, daily, hourly handling as mothers awaited word of their sons. Some of those Mother’s Day letters became the most precious possession, arriving after receipt of the words none wanted to hear.

It is said there is no bond like that which exists between mother and child. There are biological, physiological reactions in the body and brain of women as a consequence of giving birth. Touching, breastfeeding, and gazing into the eyes of a newborn child create chemical and hormonal reactions that rewire a woman’s brain, a change that permanently alters the neuronal structure. Since time began, women have said this is compensation for the pain of childbirth, the greatest pain a human can endure. Those who know the indescribable pain of burying a child say there is no limit to what mothers can, and do, endure. For this pain, there is no compensatory hormone or chemical.

But, there are cards written in crayon, with backward-facing letters, tattered with age. If this is a consequence of the commercialization of Mother’s Day, it is one for which too many mothers are grateful.

If your mother is still here, send her a card. Not because she may need that balm for her heart, but because of the warmth you may experience someday, finding a box in her closet stuffed with your backward letters and crayon declarations of love.

I wish all of you a Happy Mother’s Day.


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May you have a blessed Mother’s Day, OAM.
Our hearts are with you. For too many, today will be bittersweet. We are glad to be part of your family now.


What Graybeard said, OAM. As I watched the popcorn thunderstorms wash the last of the pollen from the trees and I changed all of the air filters, in preparation of an anticipated post from you on this subject, I forgot that your post would unleash a bunch of onion cutting ninjas, hell bent on harvesting dust bunnies.

To you, and those like you…. 


R.I.P. mom. Ya did good.


Hi mom. I’m ok.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Just returned from a week long visit with my mother (92 yo).
And mailed her a card this week.
But no crayons or backwards letters.


My mother died when I was 14. I just turned 74 and I still miss her.
Nice article OAM. Happy Mom’s day!


[…] This ain’t Hell… discusses Mother’s Day cards […]

The Pirates Cove


Awesome post OAM, and may you have a wonderful Mothers Day

Miss ya Mom!

Mike B

This year I got hit with a double whammy today….Mother’s Day and our 35th Wedding Anniversary falling on the same day.

I have to be on my extra best behavior today!


An excellent piece of writing, OAM. If Poe could add only one thing, it would be to this statement:

“This could only happen because the idea spoke to something primal in all of us.”

May an old man suggest that from his own life experiences, that the primal something is all too frequently guilt, a nagging remorse for not paying proper attention to mom for the remainder of the year. Lavish gifting and celebration on Mother’s Day probably assuages more guilt-ridden souls than on any other holiday.

Thank you for an exceptional essay. You are in the thoughts and hearts of many old warriors on this Mother’s Day.

Last edited 1 year ago by Poetrooper
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