Any way you spell it, Mom makes a difference

Mother's Day (this year on Sunday, May 14) is one of the busiest days of the year for florists, restaurants and the telephone company, as we want to show Mom just how special she is. But many of us are not aware how Mother's Day became a holiday in America.

Before the Civil War began, one woman, Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis, was working hard to establish Mothers' Works Camps in present-day West Virginia to help women stricken with tuberculosis, as well as to improve health and sanitation conditions throughout the community.

A few years later, when the Civil War started, towns and states were ripped apart as America plunged into the bloodiest conflict we have ever known. Anna Jarvis, however, convinced the women within her organization not to take sides and to offer care and food to all in need, regardless of the color of their uniform. As a result, countless lives where saved.

But the end of the war, four long years later, did not stop the conflict, as former foes returned home to the same towns and often the same families.

Anna Jarvis then organized Mothers' Friendship Days all along the Mason-Dixon Line. Wives, mothers, sisters and aunts, wearing dresses made of both Confederate gray and Union blue, reintroduced tired returning soldiers from each side to each other again as neighbors, friends and brothers.

After a lifetime dedicated to peace, Anna Jarvis died in 1907. Her namesake daughter Anne Maria asked her mother's church one year later to hold a service honoring her mother's work for peace.

As the years passed community after community began to honor the work done by women for peace until, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared May 14 (the day Anna Jarvis died) as a day to honor the many gifts mothers give to life.

Throughout her life Anna Jarvis believed woman should leave their mark on life and change the world for good. So, why not this year, show Mom that you value her contributions by treating her to her own name spelled out on a breakfast tray served in bed (see recipe below).

Ana Kinkaid can be reached at

WOW Letter Bread

2 cans of refrigerated breadsticks dough (generally next to the regular refrigerated biscuit dough, in the eggs and cheese section of the grocery store)

2 tbsp butter, to be melted

4 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Unroll the dough, and separate it into strips (it is precut for you).

Use the strips to form letters on an ungreased cookie sheet. (You can spell out "MOM" or the first letter of each child's name. And remember, when "MOM" is turned round, it spells "WOW.")

Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the sugar and the cinnamon.

Brush each letter with the butter/sugar/spice mixture.

Slide the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 12 to 17 minutes until the letters are golden brown.

Remove your letters from the cookie sheet right away, and serve on a breakfast tray with jam, coffee and loving smiles.[[In-content Ad]]