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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Mother’s Day – 1947

Mom lived to be 93 years young. She died May 16, 2005. We all miss her very much. Happy Mother’s Day.

The majority of countries that celebrate Mother’s Day do so on the second Sunday of May. On this day, it is common for Mothers to be lavished with presents and special attention from their families, friends and loved ones. But it wasn’t always this way. Only recently dubbed “Mother’s Day,” the highly traditional practice of honoring Motherhood is rooted in antiquity, and past rites typically had strong symbolic and spiritual overtones; societies tended to celebrate Goddesses and symbols rather than actual Mothers. The maternal objects of adoration ranged from mythological female deities to the Christian Church itself. The personal, human touch to Mother’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon. Only in the past few centuries did celebrations of Motherhood develop a decidedly human focus.

That human focus for me is shown in this photograph. I am the baby in the picture. Two more younger brothers came in the six years after this photo. Our mother was a tireless worker and loved us all with her whole being. Keeping up with the demands of the farm home, the school work, the church going, discipline, and cooking non-stop must have been exhausting. My brother said we had a wringer clothes washer at the time of this picture. Fortunate for her. I remember always having three long clothes lines in the yard, usually drooping under the weight of our clothes. Apparently, the dryer didn’t come until much much later.

In addition to the duties and pleasures of being our mother, she also kept some diary and journal entries for some occasions. I think she could have done many other kinds of productive things in her life. She chose this course and gave it her entire being. Below is a note transcribed from her writing. It clearly expresses the events of the special day in 1947.

Mothers Day – May – 1947

7 children – oldest is 12 – Jim, baby, 3 mos., 4 yr. old twins

7:15 A.M.    Got up

Made coffee & got breakfast

Put a roast in the oven

Made 2 salads

Bathed & dressed Jimmy – the baby

The kids gave me my Mothers Day gifts

Martha is sick & about to throw up

Ronnie broke a shoe lace in his Sunday shoes

Janie upset half a gallon of milk on the floor & table

Got them off to church

Martha is sick again

Called Mom & wished her a happy day

Made the beds – one was wet so it was all to change

Took 34 diapers off the rack & folded them

Washed the breakfast dishes

Dusted the floors

11 o’clock

John & the kids are home from church – My folks came with them

Got dinner & did up the dishes then we went to Blandinsville

Took Grandma R her Mothers Day gift

Helen & Wendell & Grandpa & Grandma R came out for the evening.

Wendell fixed our yard light & we made a freezer of ice cream.

Helen & Grandma R & I took my folks home to Raritan

Came back and visited a while and they all left.

Got the kids off to bed and went myself.


  1. Your mother worked enormously hard every day, just to keep things going. She has a tremendous legacy. I see her example in our girls, especially. I’m glad they had the chance to know her through their whole childhoods.


  2. DeniseVelez

    for me. Especially the diaper rack.  I remember helping my mom with washing and hanging up my brother’s diapers.

    Thanks for this wonderful diary.

  3. Ronk

    family too. It looks so 1947ish. It brings back a lot of memories. I am fortunate that my Mom is still with us at 95.  

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