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Celebration of Mother's Day

Posted May 4, 2011, 10:57 am in Family
Credit Growing Bolder

None of us could be here without one; they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are funny, some are sweet; some are older, and some have just received their titles.

We're talking about moms, and Growing Bolder is celebrating Mother's Day with a look at women who are making a difference in their children's and grandchildren's lives.

Mother's Day is marked in many different ways, all across the world. It's not clear when people first started observing the holiday, but it at least dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, when people would hold festivals to honor mothers. In the United Kingdom, people started visiting their mothers' churches on the fourth Sunday of Lent, to be reunited with their moms. Many churches still recognize the secular holiday, paying special attention to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Here in the United States, we celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Julia Ward Howe brought the celebration from the U.K. to the U.S. after the American civil war; in 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation to unite women against war and to call for peace. She couldn't get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace, but was able to gain support.

Another woman led the way in honoring mothers -- Ann Jarvis was a young Appalachian homemaker who tried to organize women to push for better sanitary conditions through what she called Mothers' Work Days. Jarvis died in 1907, but her daughter Anna picked up the campaign, and in May of 1908, people celebrated the first Mother's Day in West Virginia.

Eventually, 45 states marked the day, and some started declaring it an official holiday in 1912. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day and asked Americans to fly the American flag in honor of women whose sons had died in the war.

Today, Mother's Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.


Fun Facts (source: About.com and Wikipedia.org)

• In the United States, there are about 82.5 million mothers (source: US Census Bureau).

• About 96% of American consumers take part in some way in Mother's Day (source: Hallmark). Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts, such as spa treatments, and $68 million on greeting cards (source: IBISWorld).

• Mother's Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant (source: National Restaurant Association).

• Mother's Day is widely reported as the peak day of the year for long distance telephone calls.

• There are more than 23,000 florists in the United States with a total of more than 125,000 employees (source: US Census Bureau).

• Retailers report that Mother's Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest).

• In the US, 82% of women ages 40-44 are mothers. This compares to 90% in 1976 (source: US Census Bureau).

• In Utah and Alaska, women on the average will have three children before the end of their childbearing years. Overall, the average in the United States is two (source: US Census Bureau).

• In 2002, the 55% of American women with infant children were in the workforce, compared to 31% in 1976, and down from 59% in 1998. In 2002, there were 5.4 million stay-at-home mothers in the US (source: US Census Bureau).

Here is a Growing Bolder salute to mothers:

Three Promises:

One moment Carolyn and Chad Moor were celebrating their love. The next, he lay dying, the victim of a hit-and-run car accident. During their final moments, Carolyn made three promises that she's spent many years and tears trying to keep, especially the promises she made to their two young daughters. Hers is a story of Growing Bolder in the face of heartbreaking loss. See how she learned to live and even laugh again and how her story even caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey.

Food and Famiglia:

Isabella Morgia di Vicari has two passions -- food and family. They've always been her recipe for happiness. When Isabella had a midlife crisis, she didn't come out swinging -- she came out cooking. Now she hopes food and famiglia are also her recipe for success.

The Most Vibrant 107-Year-Old in the World:

At 107, Wilhelmina Hoorn raises the bar of what's possible to a whole new level! Come celebrate her birthday with a woman who has lived around the world and seen great hardships and great joy. Plus, her birthday is made even more special by the fact that she gets to celebrate it with five generations of her family, including her three feisty daughters -- all in their 80s themselves.

Creating a Life of Exquisite Harmony:
From creating art to competing in triathlons to combating Bell's Palsy disease to quitting her job and starting a home business so she could be with her family more, artist Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson lives life on her terms. See how she embraces life and lives without any regrets.

Virginia Madsen 

Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen is one of the most versatile and talented actresses working today. She's also an amazing storyteller. She's just collaborated with her Emmy-winning writer and producer mother, Elaine, on a fabulous documentary, “I Know A Woman Like That,” a film Roger Ebert described as transformational and extraordinary. It profiles the lives of extraordinary older women between 65 and 90 years old. Virginia says the film was inspired by her own mother, who Virginia says continues to grow more independent and fabulous with each birthday. She says she wanted to show other women that aging can be a liberating and it isn't what it used to be.

Judy Davids
Judy Davids is your typical wife and mother. But there's nothing typical of her job as the lead guitarist for a female band. She's proof to people everywhere that you're never too old to play rock star. Davids didn't want to give up her dreams of being a rocker after becoming a mother, despite her age and lack of instrument-playing experience. But she's not the only one. Her band, The Mydols, is made up of other moms who decided living the dream was better than just wishing it.

D.G. Fulford
At 59 years old, grandmother D.G Fulford decided to revive her relationship with her mother. So the two got together and wrote a book. For Fulford and her 89-year-old mother, Phyllis Greene, it was a challenge, but it was a way for the two to revitalize their mother-daughter relationship. The book, "Designated Daugther: The Bonus Years with Mom," talks about the final years of life with the most important woman in your life. Many people are scared to come to terms with this life stage, but Fulford says having a better outlook could make a big difference in how those years turn out.

Cat Cora
Is there anything Cat Cora can't do? This busy chef, mom and TV star is also a big believer in giving back " The first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network's hit show, Iron Chef America, Cat is also a two-time author and philanthropist, founding and presiding over her charity, Chefs for Humanity.

Eileen Miller
Autism is an illness that affects an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Americans, and is the fastest-growing developmental disability. Each person with autism shows different behaviors, and the disease affects the entire family. That's something Eileen Miller can speak to. Her daughter Kim suffers from autism, but the two are now working together to prove that art is a universal language that can unlock the amazing gifts that those with autism have.

Sherrie Mathieson
In "Steal This Style," stylist to the stars Sherrie Mathieson bridges the generations, showing women over the age of 40 how to take the best and most appropriate ideas from the younger generation and use them to look vibrant, active and fashionable. Real moms and their adult daughters appear together in outfits that are perfect compliments to both.

Harriet Shepard
How's this for quality family time? Four generations of the Shepard family, including 94-year-old great-grandmother Harriet, chose to freefall from 15,000 feet. Their family created a memory that will last a lifetime and set an example for us all.

Mrs Hughes
You knew motherhood was funny, but did you know it could launch a career in comedy? Mrs Hughes tapped into the absurd side of being a wife and mother, and now America's Funniest Grandma is the hottest act around!

Think Pink Lemonade Stand
Filled with grief but driven by a desire to honor her mother, Victoria Petrucelly and her best friend turned a lemonade stand into a life lesson for us all.

Wendy Bruce
In 1992, Wendy Bruce helped the American women win their first-ever gymnastics team medal in a non-boycotted Olympics. These days, Wendy is growing bolder. She's raising a family, pursuing a degree in sports psychology, and helping young gymnasts and their parents realize that having fun is the secret to big-time success.

The Real Mother Hubbard
Peggy Smith is strong, sensitive and a survivor. You'd have to be all three, when you are on the job 24 hours a day and when the job is also home. But she's making a huge difference for people in crisis, and says she's not ready to move out anytime soon.

Free-Falling Family Time
Time flies and so does this mother-son skydiving team. Their definition of spending quality time together involves taking the plunge at 13,500 feet.

TV Star Mom
Here's one for anyone who's "put things off for the kids." Shelley Burch walked away from the limelight at the height of her career. Now, in this Growing Bolder exclusive, she's ready for her second act.

Career of High Notes
Growing Bolder takes you on a priceless trip back in time to a woman who was among the first to perform singing commercials on television! Meet the legendary Nancy Evans.

Fostering Family Love
After raising two children, Rose Ann DeVito discovered she had a big, empty home and a lot of love still left to give. Growing Bolder introduces you to the 65-year-old "new" mom of four.

A Family Affair
With more adults maintaining active and competitive lifestyles into their 50s and beyond, grown kids now spend weekends watching mom and dad compete. In the Leech family, the kids say it's a great glimpse of what their later years could be like, too.

Jackie's Funny Valentine
As Jackie's unofficial pregnancy photographer, Marc documented every big moment here on GrowingBolder.com. So of course, after her birth, he grabbed his video camera and gave baby Elizabeth her first official GB closeup.

Aleta St. James
Aleta St. James caused an international stir when she delivered healthy twins at the age of 57. She says it was just the latest example of fulfilling her dreams, something she has helped people across the world do through her books, CDs and seminars.

Dr. Lillian Carson
Dr. Lillian Carson is a nationally renowned authority on child development, parenting and grandparenting. She is the author of "The Essential Grandparent," and a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Calif.

Jeannette Goldstein
It took her decades to get there, but one woman never gave up on her dreams of law school. At the age of 80, Jeannette Goldstein applied to law school. Her boldness inspired her son to write a book about people like her, who continue to pursue their dreams later in life.

Nancy Alspaugh & Marilyn Kentz
Marilyn Kentz and Nancy Alspaugh want women to age fearlessly. They have co-authored "Not Your Mothers Midlife: A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging," a groundbreaking book that helps women face middle age with confidence. Nancy is an Emmy Award-winning TV producer who produced network and syndicated shows, including "Leeza." Marilyn is a member of the popular comedy duo, "The Mommies."

Rosemary Taugher
Rosemary Taugher and her daughter are in the early stages of a 40,000-mile bicycle trip that will cover 40 countries and will take nearly three years to complete. She talked to Growing Bolder about why the duo set out on this trip and what it does to their mother-daughter relationship. Plus, find out what type of people they encounter on the road.

Violet Sesco
Eighty-year-old Violet Sesco is a great-great-grandmother and a member of the Professional Women's Bassmaster Tour. She's the oldest member of the tour -- male or female -- and she could be one of the oldest professional athletes in the world. She talked to Growing Bolder about how the other competitors treat her and what her secret is to catching big bass.

Carla Hoppie
Carla Hoppie isn't your average college freshman. The 50-year-old mother and waitress not only decided to go back to school, she tried out for and made the varsity track team at Eastern Oregon University. Now, her son is her classmate and teammate.

Elizabeth Gregory
What do Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama all have in common? Yes, they're all wives of major political figures, but they were all older when they started their families. Elizabeth Gregory's new book explains why the trend of late motherhood is growing in America. After the age of 35, Gregory noticed a trend among women -- the start of motherhood. Her new book, "Ready: Why Women are Embracing the New Later Motherhood," researches the growing trend. A "new late" mom herself, Gregory was able to incorporate real-life experiences into her book.

Marjorie Thompson
As a child, Marjorie Thompson learned to play guitar. Instead of continuing with her passion for music, Thompson's life took a different route. She finished her Ph.D., became a dean at Brown University and had seven kids. But an ad in a magazine struck a chord with Thompson and she decided to fulfill her childhood dreams of playing the guitar. Finally, after 35 years, Thompson picked up a guitar and played seriously, and started writing songs in 2001.


© 2006-2014. Growing Bolder Media Group. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Channels: Relationships - Family, Relationships, Relationships - Intergenerational, GB Topics, GB Topics - Love

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