A long time ago in a land far away, we wore roses to church on Mother’s Day.
I can remember as a child going to my grandmother’s house before church to pick a flower to pin on my dress.I also cut blooms for my siblings.
I would carefully choose the prettiest red roses I could find for me and my siblings, cut the chosen buds and we’d take them home. There, my brother and sister and I would pin the rose to our Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and be ready for church on Mother’s Day.
A red rose meant your mother was living and a white one meant she was dead.
When I tell people about the annual chore, I usually get a puzzled look as if they’d never heard of it. Maybe it was only a Texas thing. There are lots of only Texas things that puzzle people.
Still, it was tradition for our family for many years. After I married and left home I continued the tradition. Once my children became teens the whining and complaining won and I kinda let the wearing roses thing fall to the wayside.
Anna Jarvis started the practice when she honored her own deceased mother with a special day of remembrance at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908. By 1914, she had campaigned so successfully that President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the proclamation making Mother’s Day a national holiday.
Interesting fact I uncovered as I researched about the tradition, both Jarvis and the President Wilson insisted that the spelling be singular possessive — Mother’s Day — to encourage a personal rather than generic observance.
The wearing a rose tradition makes the day even more personal. Red to honor. White to remember.
I’m thinking it would be nice to revive the tradition. Next year, maybe my rose bushes will be blooming, and I can pick a white one to wear to honor my Mother in Heaven.