Sunday, May 13th is Mother's Day in North America but for some reason we've gotten our dates mixed up with our families in the UK. They celebrate "Mothering Sunday" on the fourth Sunday of Lent - so this year, it was on March 18th.
No one really knows how Mothering Sunday/Mother's Day began other than the fact that it has been celebrated since the 16th century. The day was possibly conceived as a celebration of Cybele, the Roman Mother Goddess. Other theories include the fact that it is simply the mid-point of Lent.
It was an extremely important day for boys and girls, men and women "in service" i.e. maids, butlers, serfs etc., as it was declared the only day they had off - yes, in the year! The holiday was given to go and visit their families and was considered quite a privilege.
Traditionally, these reunions included the baking of a Simnel Cake - a fruit cake with marzipan - but as it was Lent, it was saved for Easter. Just for fun, here is a recipe for Simnel Cake: http://projectbritain.com/easter/simnelrecipe.html
Some customs migrated easily across the sea - as one friend recounted, "It was in the '50's and I would buy a bunch of violets for my mum - they cost 6p - I remember - it was the same price as a chocolate bar."
A lot of families, both near and far, will be without the centre of their family this Mother's Day. Many of us, myself included, have lost our mothers prematurely to the dreaded disease which we now find ourselves facing. Many of us however, have been given the legacy of a compassionate and caring role model. We have seen first hand, how to live, love and die well. My mother looked after her family first and foremost. She doted upon all of us until she couldn't - was hospitalised and died peacefully the next day.
To all of my Sunflower Sisters - may you be given the gift of wisdom to know that the steps that you take along this path are being carefully recorded in the hearts of those who love you - to be brought out in times of need and as a constant reminder of what is important.
Happy Mother's Day to All!
P.S. For those who have forgotten, it's not too late to encourage our team in the 2012 Run for Ovarian Cancer on Sunday:
Many, many thanks to all of you who have so kindly and generously supported us! I'll report fully next week with pictures!