In 1908 America, Anna Jarvis petitioned her mother’s church to have a holiday set up in her honor. The request was granted and that May, the first Mother’s Day celebration took place. Jarvis eventually campaigned to have Mother’s Day recognized first in West Virginia—which happened in 1912—and then nationally. President Woodrow Wilson signed off on it two years later.
And so Mother’s Day as we know it here in the U.S. was born.
Observed each year on the second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of mothers, grandmothers, godmothers and any other maternal figures; instead it has become a juggernaut of commercialism and big business.
Oddly enough, Anna Jarvis thought so, too. She even took measures to try to end the holiday she was so pivotal in creating. In 1923, Jarvis sued to stop a Mother’s Day event, unsuccessfully I might add. A decade later, she was arrested for disturbing the peace—she protested the selling of flowers by the American War Mothers group—and petitioned to have the words “Mother’s Day” removed from a postage stamp that bore her dead mother’s image, as well as a vase full of white carnations (her “flower of choice” for honoring deceased relatives—red carnations are for mothers who are still alive).
The fact that Mother’s Day remains in America means Jarvis obviously failed to have the holiday banned. She died poor, blind and childless in 1948. Ironically enough, the woman responsible for Mother’s Day never became a mother herself!
And what’s more, Jarvis wasted much of her fortune on lawsuits against florists during her life, only to have her end-of-life medical care anonymously funded by The Florist‘s Exchange. Irony times two!
These days, Mother’s Day is no less commercial and people spend obscene amounts of money on flowers, candy, greeting cards and gifts. Of course, it is the idea behind all these material rewards that makes this holiday so special.
We do these things because mothers are the greatest. They bring us into the world, nurture and care for us, teach us how to be better people and love and support us until the day they die. They deserve to be celebrated daily—and should be by their children, husbands and wives (in the case of our gay friends)—but recognizing them officially each year is important, too.
Of course, we must also accept that all mothers aren’t good mothers.
For every son who loves his mom and surprises her with fresh spring flowers or a spa getaway, there is another who curses his mother and wishes he had never been born to her. Some mothers kiss and hug; others beat, berate and abuse. It’s a fact of life.
Celebrating—or maybe condemning—a bad mummy then seems equally important. In the same way that good mothers deserve to be recognized for their efforts, bad mothers deserve to be criticized for their transgressions.
And just so we’re clear, the moniker of “bad mother” only belongs to actual bad mothers. Someone who grounds her son for behaving badly or refuses to let her 10-year-old daughter wear makeup would not qualify. A crackhead mom, on the other hand, would undoubtedly fit the bill.
What I am suggesting, of course, is a new holiday: Bad Mothers Day. Call it a celebration of women who are only mothers by virtue of having spawned human children, if you will. Or better yet, anti-Mother’s Day.
All the details can be worked out later—like when to schedule this historic holiday. I suggest finding a time that is convenient for everyone but bad mothers, a month that has so much holiday attention that it will take even more focus off these irresponsible people (like December, for instance) or just the butt end of any random month.
None of that matters until we get Bad Mothers Day approved, though.
As evidence of why such a holiday should be observed immediately—and nationally—I offer up Brenda Heist, a mother who made headlines last week for being just about as bad as they come.
In February 2002, Heist was living in Pennsylvania with her son and daughter. And sadly, things just weren’t going very well for her. She was in the midst of a divorce from her husband, Lee, and also had her request for housing assistance denied—money she was counting on so she could get her own apartment.
She got the news just after dropping her kids off at school one day. Emotionally distraught, Heist took a seat in a nearby park and proceeded to cry her eyes out. That’s when she was approached by three homeless wanderers—two men and a woman. They asked her what was wrong, comforted her and told her they were hitchhiking to Florida. Did she want to come?
In most situations like these—which obviously can’t be that common—you might expect a mother to thank these kind people, bid them good day and press on for the sake of her children.
Such was not the case with Brenda Heist.
Instead of rejecting their offer, Heist accepted it wholeheartedly and spent the next 11 years eating discarded food, living under bridges, working odd jobs for cash, shacking up with homeless men and doing everything but serving as a mother to her children.
She abandoned them without so much as a moment’s forethought, leaving everyone to wonder if she had been the victim of some violent crime or freak accident. Time passed and by 2010, Lee had officially declared her dead and eventually remarried.
But there were still plenty of questions and no clear answers. At least not until last week.
Out of the freaking blue, the now 54-year-old Brenda Heist turned up in Key Largo, Florida and gave herself up to authorities. She told police she left her family behind because of stress, so police immediately contacted them to share the “good” news of her return.
I wish I could say that her family welcomed her back with open arms, embraced her as if 11 years had not passed and vowed to make their remaining years together count. Sadly, though, that was not the case.
Lee Heist doesn’t seem interested in reconnecting with his ex-wife, and who can blame him? After she disappeared, police treated him as a suspect and his reputation in the community suffered.
“The hardest thing I had to deal with was, the families of some of my children’s friends would not let them play with them, because of what they thought of me,” he recounted. “That just tore me apart.”
And daughter Morgan seems even less interested in seeing the mother who abandoned her at eight years old.
“I don’t think she deserves to see me,” the now 20-year-old Morgan said. “I don’t really have any plans on going to see her.”
Personally, I know she’s serious because on her Twitter feed, Morgan said that she hopes her mother “rots in hell.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but this isn’t a phrase normally associated with good mothers, is it?
I think not.
So in honor of the idea of Bad Mothers Day, let Brenda Heist of Florida stand as a shining example of why we need to start observing it NOW. Put simply, there are just too many bad mothers out there who both deserve and need to be exposed.
And this is our chance to do it.
Last month, I wrote a post entitled “Mother’s Day in September” because moms kept popping up in the news headlines.
Now it appears that October is the month for grandmothers. And once again, the news isn’t good.
Joyce Dexter was an 84-year-old grandmother living peacefully in Salt Lake City, Nevada. On October 3, police were called to her home to investigate a domestic disturbance. When the cops walked in, they found Dexter’s grandson, 21-year-old Zachary Weston, standing over her dead body with a bloody knife in his hand.
Weston had stabbed his grandmother more than 100 times, slit her throat and her abdomen, and removed several of her organs. Family members told police that Weston suffered from mental illness and had even been arrested before. Sadly, nothing was done to prevent this terrible tragedy and now a sweet grandmother is dead. And Dexter is only the beginning.
25-year-old Aisha Sanders of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded no contest this week to beating her 86-year-old grandmother to death. Mary Muha was found dead in her home last December after Sanders went on a crack cocaine bender and murdered her so she could steal her television, presumably to buy more crack. Now Sanders faces one of the most effective drug treatment programs in the nation: prison.
It all started with a Tweet sent out by KitchenAid, a subsidiary of Whirlpool: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president.” The culprit was a KitchenAid employee who likely lost his or her job after this fiasco. And the Whirlpool people could not be more apologetic.
82-year-old Virginia Hamlin of Anna, Texas, just lost her husband and decided to mourn with family. She accompanied her daughter and grandson to a local pizzeria for dinner and spent some time showing her husband’s obituary to staff there. Suddenly, a car crashed into the restaurant and sent Hamlin to meet her husband in the afterlife.
The driver, an 80-year-old woman and possible grandmother herself, had mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. Her vehicle hit a pole and a minivan before barreling in to Mama Mia’s Pizzeria and killing Hamlin.
October has definitely been rough for grandmas, and we’re not even halfway through the month yet. While I hope this vicious cycle is broken soon and no more grandmothers have to suffer, one thing concerns me more: Will dads be next in November?
I hope not. But if they are, it looks like I’ll be using some vacation time and laying low!
I’m not sure if the planets aligned, hell froze over or Mother’s Day moved to September, but Mom was all over the news today. Dare I say she held her own with the Presidential election coverage, providing a much-needed break from all the empty promises and political double-speak. Sadly, not all the news was good, but what can you do? It’s Mom!
Marie Jost of Amherst, Wisconsin, has been receiving Social Security checks since she suffered a stroke in 1980. Today, these payments total $175,000. This may not seem like an exorbitant sum of money—especially spread across more than thirty years—but there’s more to the story: Jost has been dead since 1982.
Most of us put family first and live by the adage that “blood is thicker than water,” but the same can’t be said for Marie Jost’s son, daughter and son-in-law. After Jost disappeared without a trace three decades ago—she is of course presumed dead—her family continued to cash her Social Security checks. They would have raked in even more if the Social Security Administration hadn’t sent a deputy to Jost’s property to confirm that she was still alive. The ensuing investigation led authorities to Ronald Disher, Jost’s son-in-law, who confessed that she had “been gone about 25-30 years.”
Needless to say, all three of these losers face felony charges, prison time and fines heftier than the cash they stole from this poor woman.
Anna Gristina of Monroe, New York, is a mother of four and legal U.S. resident originally from Scotland. In town, she is known for rescuing animals and finding them homes. But in the big city, Gristina has a different image.
She is the madam of a multimillion-dollar prostitution… dating… service. And sadly, the party’s over.
The lovely and enterprising Gristina spent fifteen years giving wealthy clients “the business.” But her run came to an abrupt end when she sent two “escorts” to service what turned out to be an undercover cop. Now Gristina has been indicted by a grand jury and is fighting for her life in court.
Personally, I have no problem with prostitution for the same reason I’m pro-life on abortion: women have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. If this includes humping the life out of rich and sexually deprived clients, so be it. No offense to any “Johns” out there. And good luck to you, Anna. You’re going to need it.
Julie Myfors of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, discovered that her 17-year-old daughter was dating a registered sex offender, 19-year-old William Elms—his prior conviction was third-degree child molestation. When her daughter refused to break up with Elms, Myfors took action.
She immediately found a young girl who was friends with Elms on Facebook, set up a fake profile and email account, and started communicating with this pervert. Predictably, the conversation turned nasty—even violent—and led to Elms’ sending a picture of his “hangdown” to Myfors, who was posing as 15-year-old Ashley Lynn Brooks. A short visit with the police later and Elms found himself behind bars.
You know what happens to child molesters in jail, don’t you? Let’s just say that regardless of his sentence, Elms will undoubtedly get what’s coming to him… in the end. I can’t make it much clearer than that.
Anna Boyle of Woodinville, Washington, was cruising down a state highway, stoned out of her mind on weed, heroin, methamphetamines and God knows what else, when she was pulled over by “the fuzz.” Officers smelled pot and confronted Boyle and her passenger/fiancé about it. That’s when they heard a thumping sound coming from the trunk.
There they found Boyle’s three hungry children—their last meal was the previous day—as well as the family dog. Boyle and her partner-in-crime, Aaron Johnson, were immediately arrested on the drug charges. Additional charges related to the kids should be coming soon to a court near these two morons. I swear, some crackheads never learn.
Zewoinesh Badasso of San Diego, California, faces first-degree murder charges for strangling her 7-month-old son and tossing him out of a third-story window. A passerby found his tiny body on the street below and phoned police, who apprehended Badasso and took note of her “calm and unconcerned” behavior. Badasso’s attorney claims she was opening a window and accidentally dropped the baby out of it, but will focus her defense on “post-partum psychosis”—the equivalent of the temporary insanity plea, only for mothers who snap on their newborns.
Wow. I think I just depressed myself with that story. Murder aside, it’s also a shame to think that somewhere in San Diego could be a couple who would have loved to adopt this child. Instead, another young life has been snuffed. And there are no silver linings where dead babies are concerned.
What kind of messed up Mother’s Day would this have been? Of course, I suppose it is possible these mothers were trying to tell us all something very, very important. Something none of us should ever, ever forget.
Be good to Mom.
I am the guy who wrote this post and I endorse this message because as I stated before, I wrote this post and thus the message belongs to me. Take that, Mitt and Barack!