Mother's Day gives everyone a reason to celebrate all mothers

By Lesley Jenkins
STAR STAFF
ljenkins@starhq.com

   She wipes your tears, cleans your cuts, and kisses your boo-boos to make you feel better. She is the only one who can make your favorite food the way you like it. She is the woman who you compare every other woman in your life to.
   She held your hands when your little stubby legs were struggling to take their first steps. She forced you to do homework and grounded you when you didn't.
   She is your mother and for all these reasons and many more that is why you love her and celebrate her on this special holiday.
   Three women share the honors of the present Mother's Day holiday: Julia Ward Howe, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley and Anna Jarvis. Jarvis is credited with bringing about the first official observance of Mother's Day. Her mother had hoped that a holiday would be a memorial for all mothers, living and dead.
   On the third anniversary of her mother's death, Jarvis held a program on the second Sunday of May in 1908, launching the observance of Mother's Day.
   The tradition of wearing carnations started in 1908 also, when mothers were given a red carnation for the living and a white carnation for the deceased.
   Richard Sharpin, owner of Felty-Roland Florist, Elizabethton, said the tradition of giving carnations has slowed down some in recent years as the selling of flower arrangements and gifts has taken over. "The tradition is not nearly as big as it used to be," he said.
   "Mother's Day is the second biggest floral holiday of the year," Sharpin said. Valentine's Day is ranked No. 1. "We do more business this week (week before Mother's Day) than we do in several whole months," he added.
   "We sell a lot of hanging baskets, a tremendous amount, and a lot of fresh flowers," Sharpin said. Some of this year's favorites are keepsakes, decorative teacups and mugs filled with flowers. "These gifts have value even after the flowers are gone. There is no better way to say 'I love you' to your mother than with flowers," said Sharpin.
   To his mother, Grace Sharpin, he wanted to say, "I love you and I will see you on Sunday after the rush is over," he said.
   Children at the Elizabethton Boys and Girls Club had these things to say about their parents.
   Jessa Dugger, 8, said she loves her mother because, "she plays with me and takes care of me, but she won't play pinball with me."
   Nine-year-old Candace Greene said, "My mom is a great cook and she plays softball with me. She also cleans my room and makes great turkey and green beans."
   Sienna Brown, 6, said her favorite food from her mom are hamburgers.
   Ten-year-old Brook Begley loves her mother, Desie Gentry, because, "she loves me. She helps all kinds of other people." Gentry painted all the murals, Batman, Bugs Bunny, and other favorite cartoon characters, throughout the Boys and Girls Club.
   Boys and Girls Club employee, Andrew Jenkins, 25, bragged on his amazing mother, Shena Jenkins, Roan Mountain, who raised 10 kids. "Dad (Alan Jenkins) was in the Navy and she did all the laundry, cooked and helped with homework for all 10 of us."
   Shena is now the proud grandmother of 16 grandchildren. Shena and Alan are also foster parents.
   The house is probably the quietest it has been in years because only a 17-year-old and a foster child are still living at home.
   "She is amazing because of the amount of kids she raised. She had to do everything in numerous amounts. I don't see how she did it. I couldn't have done it. I love her," Andrew said.