Be More Awards, Honoring real history of Mothers Day, and more...

Real Meaning of Mothers Day:
Why I'll be walking for them this year...

By Kara L.C. Jones

   "... let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead..."
~Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mothers Day certainly stinks if your child is dead. In fact all holidays usually stink, but especially Mothers and Fathers Days which seem to be just made-up, corporate-driven, commercial entities -- those especially stink. I never had the energy to delve further than greeting card companies to learn about Mothers Day, never knew where it came from, nor why it is still celebrated with no sense of the tradition being mentioned.

Several years ago, to my surprise, I got a history lesson. A group of women where we lived on Vashon Island decided that they didn't want to celebrate and contribute to the capitalistic greet card economy anymore. They wanted to protest against violence. They wanted to express their maternal feelings for ALL children of any race, nationality, religion, gender, alive or dead. And they wanted to honor the power of that expression. So there in our little piece (peace) of earth, there was a parade, a small festival-atmosphere gathering at Ober Park lawn and playground. And they were spreading the original meaning of Mothers Day as Julia Ward Howe wrote about and visioned it!!!!

What???? When they told me about this endeavor, I was so intrigued that Mothers Day had a real and meaningful history. I still was not able to bring myself to march with them and celebrate with all their beautiful, living children playing while I was smarting at the heart, grieving my dead son and my motherhood lost. *But* I had a much greater appreciation for Mothers Day, for history, for taking a stand against violence and war to save the world's children. And here's why:

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote and published a protest against the carnage and violence of the Civil War -- this was a protest led by Women Who Had Lost Their Sons!!!!! It was bereaved mothers who started this!!!! Greeting card companies are WAY OFF the mark with the way this holiday is commercialized and propagated now, *but* in the beginning, this was a day of protest, an expression of horrified grief from bereaved mothers who were parted from their sons!! Wow. Okay. That's a different spin.

So what did Julia have to say back in 1870? You read and see for yourself:

    Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

    Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

    We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

    Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

    Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

    In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

    Julia Ward Howe

HELLO!!!!???????? Mothers Day came as an answer to Julia's proclamation. It started as a ceremony of bereavement and then as a movement for peace and action to stop the senseless deaths of children everywhere. Our society can commercialize all they want. Because in my heart of hearts I know the real meaning of this day came from pain, loss, and grief -- the same things I feel on any given Mothers Day. And from now on, when people urge me to celebrate the day, I will tell them this:

I'll celebrate with you as long as you will first mourn with me. It is the combination of the two that lends itself to the true meaning of Mothers Day!

And I'm happy to say that this year I feel much stronger, so my husband and I will be walking on Mothers Day with all the other MISS Families at the Phoenix Zoo as part of Empty Strollers, Empty Shoes: we walk for them.  Let us now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.  Let us meet first, as bereaved parents, to bewail and commemorate the dead.  And then lets celebrate the love we all have, the love that death cannot touch!
Click image above to see full size flyer!

Empty Strollers, Empty Shoes:
We walk for them.

If you are planning to participate in the Phoenix event at the Zoo on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 8, 2011, we are encouraging everyone to register early so you can create your Team page for sharing with others.  You will find all information, registration, and current Teams at:

Even if you can't physically be here to walk with us, we are offering Footprint Registrations where you can register a paper footprint that will have name of a child you'd like to honor written on it.  Our walkers will carry the footprints with us on Mothers Day and then be displaying all the footprints at our shoe decorating after the walk.  See the registration page for full information.

We're excited to report that we are over $15,000 on the way toward our goal of $75,000 for this event!  And with new teams and new sponsors every single day, we are confident we can reach our goal!!

Sponsors may also support this event at the following levels

Lion - $10,000
Elephant - $5,000
Giraffe - $2500
Zebra - $1000
Monkey - $500
Parrot - $100

Makes checks payable to
MISS Foundation, 2425 E. Camelback Road, Ste 950/927, Phoenix, AZ 85016

To fully register for the event, please visit:

We would also like to thank the Phoenix event Sponsors including:

- our first Elephant Sponsor for the Zoo Walk!

Dan Lubeck - our first Giraffe Sponsor for the Zoo Walk!

Arizona Public Service


Raising Arizona Kids

Arrowhead Hospital

A New Leaf

Child Crisis Center

Oliver's Jewelers

If you are hosting your own event at your own location we've got lots of materials online to help you coordinate, promote, and fundraise.  Make sure you check out all of the following:

Save The Date!!!

We are already cooking up plans for the 2012 MISS Conference, so save the date on your calendars now!
***Please note this is different than the first announcement we made. These dates and details are now final. Promise.***
October 4, 5 & 6, 2012
Fiesta Resort
Tempe, AZ
Room Rate: $99/per night

More details coming soon!

On the MISS Site

We are continually updating the MISS site to give you the latest information and news:

Congressional update to MISS members

See our legislative site for more on how to contact your congressperson today about US House and Senate bills addressing stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death, and children's here!

Vote MISS!!!

Please take the mere 5 seconds it will take you to VOTE for the MISS Foundation in Channel 8's - BE MORE AWARD: People's Choice Poll!!

Simply click here and scroll about 1/2 way down the page to click the button in front of the listing for The MISS Foundation!

In the MISS Mailbox

I met you at the conference When a child dies in  Arizona in 2006.  I am sure you will not remember me but I was so thrilled to attend that five day gathering and took away a lot to use in Regina Saskatchewan where I work.  Your work influence me a great deal.  I have implemented the slide show to honour the memory of our babies at our Annual Memorial Gathering.  The province of Saskatchewan now has the availability of a Still birth Certificate and with the major renovations of the new unit we included a Memento room, a place to work with our deceased babied and still born to collect memories for the parents.
Our Perinatal Loss Committee has worked very hard and this weekend received an excellence award for recognition of the hard work.  I am passing on the newspaper article just as an FYI.  You touched me with your compassion and talent.  I work hard to give our community a fraction of what you have given the world. I thought you needed to hear how very appreciative I am to have met you and even relaxed by the pool with you and Vanessa Gorman!
Joanne, you are a special person and while our paths crossing may have been a small event in your busy life you left huge memories with me.  While my appreciation is coming years after, you truly are with me every day, influencing my practise and care for these patients.  I also expose my student nurses to Perinatal loss as ambassadors when they go forward in the work place to say and do the correct things.  In my teaching presentation I have a picture of you and I , to show them how special my meeting you and attending the conference was.
Thank you for being you!
Sincerely, Danita Lang R.N. ( and bereaved mother of Baby Kayla April 8-12, 1983 died of congenital anomalies)

Remember the miss foundation in your giving

The MISS Foundation is supported via donations and grants from individuals like you and the fundraising you are doing on the ground in your own community.  Please encourage your friends, family, group members, and other local groups to remember MISS as they are doing their charitable giving, fundraising, and gift giving in this new year.  MISS Mentors and Facilitators offer groups and outreach as volunteers.  Volunteers man our phone lines and moderate our forums.  Families in need can receive free grief support packets any time of year.  We need your giving dollars to keep the foundation vital and thriving throughout the year!  We make it very easy to donate online via the MISS Foundation Website now, too.  Please surf on over and support all that MISS has done for you and your community.

Get your copy of missing ingredients!

FEATURE:  Click here to read excerpt of the book (PDF)

MISSing Ingredients: a re-member-ing cookbook is now officially released and available through the MISS site by clicking here.  Copies are $20 + shipping.  We are so excited to see this book come to print and honored to tell you that funds raised from sales of this book 100% benefit the MISS Foundation!
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