Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. The United States celebration of Mother’s Day originated in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. However, his proclamation had its roots in the movement started in 1907 by Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. Ms. Jarvis began the Mother’s Day movement as a tribute to honor her own mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. Ms. Jarvis also started the practice of handing out white carnations, her mother’s favorite flower, to mothers at church. The white carnation represented sweetness, purity and patience.

There were forerunners of our modern Mother’s Day. Mothering Sunday was practiced by early Christians to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Later this became a day to honor all mothers.

English colonists brought Mothering Sunday to the New World. However, they discontinued the practice due to lack of time. Even then women’s work was never done.

Even earlier the ancient Greeks held festivals to honor Rhea who was the mother of all the gods. Perhaps we will never know just how far back mothers have been honored.

This year Mother’s Day will be different. We are practicing social distancing due to COVID-19 to keep everyone safe. There, hopefully, won’t be gatherings in homes or going out to restaurants. This doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate.

You still can have a face-to-face with your mother/grandmother if each of you has a computer or Smartphone. Zoom is a free app that allows you to see the person you are talking to if you arrange a date and time in advance. Multiple people can be on the Zoom "meeting" at the same time.

No computer or smartphone? How about a conference call? Your local carrier will have instructions on how this can be accomplished. For most carriers there is no charge; some have a minimal charge.

Many of us have a family tradition of taking mother/grandmother out to a nice restaurant for Mother’s Day. There is something just wrong about asking her to cook the meal on Mother’s Day. But this year we can’t sit around the table together so consider having a meal delivered to your mother/grandmother from a local grocery store or restaurant. Many will do this for a small fee.

There are also a number of specialty catalogs that have meals that can be delivered to the door. Give your loved one a gift certificate and they can order what they want, when they want and have a meal they don’t have to totally prepare themselves at a date of their choosing.

Many mothers will not be home on Mother’s Day this year. They will be working in hospitals in various capacities, as EMTs, firefighters and in law enforcement. They are on the front lines in the COVID-19 battle. If you know of one of these mothers please take time to drop a note thanking her for her work in your community.

Take time today to thank the mothers in your life. If you already have, take time to say it again. If you never have, it’s not too late.

To all mothers everywhere, especially Sarah, — Happy Mother’s Day.

— Mrs. Theil is a child advocate in Wayne and Holmes Counties. She can be contacted at BeverlyVT@aol.com