Friday, May 12, 2006

Honouring All Mothers

May 12, 2006

Mother’s Day will be this weekend: the busiest day for florists, a busy day for restaurants, and family dinners in honor of Mom and not to mention the sales at the cards shops.

Last Monday, our Happy Hour group each honoured their Mother. There were tears as stories were told, pictures were shared and we saw another layer of each one of our gathering. There was pain from that past and yet each woman was able to share how a child couldn’t see strength but the adult now looks back and knows how courageous their Mother was in difficult circumstances. Redemptive threads were certainly present.

This next week we will visit a local Seniors Home and honour the women who live there.

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation that came out of her pain watching two sons fight on different sides of a bitter ward in the United States. Her words then are just as pertinent today. So we share this with you all in honour of Mother’s Day 2006.

“Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
‘We will not have questions answered 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.’

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: ‘Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.’
Blood does not wipe our dishonour,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress,
Not of Caesar, but of God
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international question,
The great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe 1870

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