It’s true, I really do love research. It is one of my very favorite parts of writing. The thing is, I learn ten times as much as ever ends up in the current book, which means I become a quasi-expert on all kinds of off-the-wall topics (such as kidnap marriages in Central Europe, horrifying details of the slave trade, the most popular baby boomer names for each year from 1946 to 1964, how the Indian caste system got started… well, you get the idea). Come play Trivial Pursuit with me, and you’ll see what I mean!
While researching the final book of the Grace In Africa trilogy (The Triumph of Grace, due out next spring) I discovered that the roots of Mother’s Day are in the Civil War. It was an anti-war statement with the specific goal of reuniting families divided on opposite sides during those catastrophic years. (My family could certainly have profited by the idea. They are from Missouri, where brother was pitted against brother and father against son.)
Okay, so this isn’t an earth-shaking discovery. But I did enjoy learning about Ann Jarvis and her 1868 committee, not the least, perhaps, because Mother’s Day is already special to me. My son was born on Mother’s Day. Every six years he and I share our “special day” together. Pretty cool.
When my son was born, the local hospital women’s auxiliary baked little heart-shaped cakes to give to each new mom, some with blue frosting and some with pink, each with a frosting carnation and the word MOM. Since my son was the only baby there, I went home carting a dozen pink and blue heart cakes.
My son always calls me first thing in the morning on Mother’s Day. My heart fills with love and my stomach grumbles for a little cake.
Now I will also long for an end to war, a quieting of angry rhetoric, and reconciliation.
“Blessed are the peace-makers.”