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Eric Douglas: Don’t forget Mom this weekend!

Thinking about Mother’s Day (it’s this weekend, don’t forget!), I decided to learn a bit more about the celebration and where it came from.

One of the most amusing things I saw was the factoid that more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year, causing phone traffic to spike as much as 37 percent, according to

Celebrations of motherhood have been around since the ancient Greeks. More recently, in Medieval times, an early version of the day was called Mothering Sunday. Poor families often sent their children off to work at the homes of the wealthy. They were given a rare day off during Lent (typically the fourth Sunday) to return to their families and their mother church. On those visits, the children would bring flowers and presents for their mothers.

Of course, what is now known as Mother’s Day around the world got its start in Grafton. Leading up to the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach women how to care for their children. After the war, Jarvis organized Mother’s Friendship Day to bring together Union and Confederate soldiers to work toward reconciliation. Because, who can say no to their mother?

Jarvis’ daughter, Anna, was the organizer who turned her mother’s work into a national holiday in 1914 and later railed against its commercialization. Much of the rest of the Western world has followed suit by sending mothers cards, flowers and making phone calls on the second Sunday of May.

I am getting to an age where many of my friends no longer have their mothers with them. I know this day is especially hard for them. I am fortunate to still have my mother around, so I am going to take this opportunity to say Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Lois Douglas.

Our moms work hard and make sacrifices most of never even realize until many years later when we become parents ourselves and are put in the same positions.

So, this weekend, call your mom. (Do your part to spike phone traffic.) Go see her. Buy her lunch. That’s the least you can do. If your mom isn’t around anymore, do something that would make her proud. You know she’s still watching over you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Eric Douglas, of Pinch, is the author of “Return to Cayman,” “Heart of the Maya,” “Cayman Cowboys,” “River Town” and other novels. He is also a columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine and a former Charleston Newspapers Metro staff writer. For more information, visit or contact him at


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