The Mother’s Day Dreamer

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There’s plenty of days in the year, but only one has been set aside to honor that one person in each of our lives who did the most and had the greatest impact: the ladies who carried us and nurtured us; who encouraged us to succeed, and who wiped away our tears when we failed; the women who are lovingly called MOM! That day is Mother’s Day, and since it’s this Sunday, we wanted to do a special Diet for Dreamers about the lady who helped establish it as a nationally recognized holiday.

Anna Jarvis’ campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her own beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, passed away. Anna’s dream was to honor her mother: first, by continuing her mom’s work as a peace activist — Anna’s mom had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War; and secondly, by creating “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to address public health issues. Anna also had a goal to establish a national holiday paying tribute to mothers throughout the country.

The FIRST modern American celebration of Mother’s Day was in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Afterwards, due to Anna’s tireless campaigning, several states officially recognized Mother’s Day, West Virginia officially recognized the holiday in 1910. Several more states quickly followed. Ultimately, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day — always to be on the second Sunday in May — a national holiday honoring mothers.

Anna had achieved her goal. Her dream to recognize and celebrate “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world” had become a reality.

Anna Jarvis hoped the holiday would become an ocassion for people to honor their own mothers and demonstrate their appreciation by writing personal letters expressing their love and gratitude. So she was actually saddened when Hallmark started marketing pre-made Mother’s Day cards in early 1920. She felt the commemorative holiday she’d worked so hard to establish, was being commercialized. Perhaps. But today it’s easier to be on Hallmark’s side: not everyone’s gifted with beautiful handwriting or the creativity to produce homemade gifts. Some of us want and need other ways to express our feelings; and besides, giving pretty cards has become as much a tradition as Mother’s Day itself.

Mother’s Day has since been adopted by other countries and is now celebrated all over the world. What a wonderful idea — because our moms are wonderful people!

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” (George Washington)

“She is clothed with strength and dignity…. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.” (Proverbs 31:25-28 NLT)

(Happy Mother’s Day to our very own Mamita!)

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Seriously Seasoned Superstars (Encouragement for Creators)

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When we continue to work hard and dream big, our greatest successes can often come later in life. Thursday’s post, “Geriatric Giant Slayers,” examined the lives of two men from the Bible, who achieved their dreams at ripe old ages — proving you’re never too gray to achieve your goals. We also discussed how age is relative. We’ve met people who are seventy and eighty-something, but who are real go-getters; and forty-year-olds who act like life is over. No matter how OLD you think you are, please don’t retire to the rocker just yet. Keep on dreaming and creating. We hope to inspire you with the examples of two modern-day Geriatric Giant Slayers:

Classic Morgan Freeman line: “Didn’t you get the memo?”

The award-winning actor Morgan Freeman didn’t simply burst onto the big screen; his fame and universally recognized voice and image are the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance, and it arrived much later in his life. First off, Freeman never actually planned to be an actor. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic before the acting bug bit. Then came years of small parts on the stage, leading to starring roles on the stage, leading to bit parts in television, leading to bigger and better things in several made-for-TV movies. Had he arrived? Not yet.

Freeman was destined to play Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Nelson Mandela and GOD!! (And it was good.) Not to mention the brains who kept Batman fully equipped in three box-office bonanzas. But getting these plum assignments meant working several more years, in supporting roles (Sigh, again?) in smaller theatrical movies.

Finally, in 1989, Freeman wowed us in unforgettable roles in two big-budget movies, Glory and Driving Miss DaisyHe’d really hit the big time, and he was only 52! Today, at age 81, Freeman is spending his remaining golden years gentling rocking — as senators, scientists, doctors and diplomats — in an average of three movies a year! In fact, he’s one of the busiest actors in Hollywood! Didn’t you get the memo?

Excellent film adaptation of an excellent book series from the mind of Patrick O’Brian, a heavily seasoned writer!

Another late bloomer: Patrick O’Brian worked decades as a novelist but didn’t become more widely read and better known until he was in his late sixties. Suddenly his series of novels set during the Napoleonic Wars and featuring British Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and Ship’s Doctor and sometimes intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, were making the New York Times Bestsellers List. Walter Cronkite and Charlton Heston were among his avid readers, and after 20 engaging novels, as well as numerous Patrick O’Brian interviews and speaking engagements, a big-budget movie based on two of the books was filmed: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.

O’Brian became a superstar in his seventies!

So you’re never too old to reach new heights. You’re never too old to dream, create, achieve your goals, and live life to the fullest!

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NLT)

“Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28 NLT)

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