Mother’s Day is a very special day in America. While it is celebrated around the world, the date is not universal, and neither is the amount of appreciation shown toward mothers. For example; most of Europe shares the date with the United States, however, Norway celebrates Mother’s Day in February and the United Kingdom celebrates in March.

Having been involved with international high school exchange for the past 10 years, I have learned that not only do many dates differ, but also the level of appreciation. At least in America, the day revolves around mothers. As well as it should.

Mothers have been faced with challenges throughout the beginning of time. A mother has the task with providing care to a living child within her body. She must also contend with the struggles of daily life, whether it be through raising a family or maintaining a career. Some mothers are faced with raising a child or multiple children alone.

The words “female parent” and “maternal tenderness or affection” are used to define a mother. As a verb, the word is defined as giving “birth to” and “care for or protect.” We witness this behavior in all mothers.

A mother can provide the sweet and loving care a child needs. However, a mother can also become aggressive in order to provide care and protection for her children. She must encompass it all - soft and demanding qualities. Other words used to define a mother include “a woman in authority” and “an extreme or ultimate example.”

It is evident of our love for mothers as we go about our daily lives during the month of May. When visiting the grocery store, we see signs that direct us to buy mom a bouquet of flowers or a package of chocolate. When shopping department stores, we see signs for Mother’s Day gifts or specials to give mom the gift of a massage or spa treatment.

There are an estimated 113 million cards exchanged annually on Mother’s Day in the United States alone. It is also the second most popular holiday for gift-giving. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but perhaps it will help you win a game show one day.

My point is, Mother’s Day is and should be held in high regard. Who would we all be without mothers? Where would we all be without their loving care? Where would we all be without the protection?

I’ve written before about my mother, Mary Miller. This column wouldn’t be appropriate without a shout out to her on Mother’s Day. Having birthed and raised seven children is no easy accomplishment. Being the youngest, I can’t recall too many instances where I’ve seen her being a momma bear, but I have certainly heard the stories.

One thing I have witnessed and something I know without a doubt is that she has loved each one of us unconditionally. She has guided us, protected us and loved us.

Whether you have given birth, adopted, or simply cared for others through love and support, Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Brent Miller is the editor and publisher of the Jackson County Sentinel. He can be reached at brent.miller@jcsentinel.com.

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