Sepia Saturday – Arise All Women (and Men) Who Have Hearts!

I have a couple of four generation photographs to share for Mother’s Day.

Abbie, Doris, Kathy, Dorinda, Eveline

Four Generations; Me as a Baby

I’m the baby in the arms of my great-grandmother, Dorinda Webber nee Strange. My grandmother, Abbie Smith nee Webber is on the left; my mom is in back; and my grandmother Eveline Hoskins nee Coates is on the right.

I was born in mid-October in Iowa, so it seems unusual that everyone is in short sleeves. The older ladies look a little dressed up, especially my great-grandmother, who is wearing a hat. Abbie’s apron indicates that the picture was taken at her home and that she hosted a meal. I bet I was the guest of honor!

Everyone looks happy – well Abbie may be concerned about a roast in the oven. Or maybe the sun is shining just a bit in her eyes.

New life. A new mother. So much loving ahead. So many possibilities.

This next picture was taken several years later. It features Eveline on the left; mom in the back; and I am sharing a chair with my great-grandmother Mary Coates nee Harris.

Mary Coates, Eveline, Doris, Kathy copy

Four Generations

My parents were divorced by this time and my mother and I lived with her parents – and so did my great-grandmother. Lots of love and hugs readily available for this young girl.

Whenever I look at this photograph, I get a little sad….. but not for a reason you would assume. It makes me sad because I had a better picture taken at the same time in the same pose. My grandmother’s eyes were open…. we all just looked a little better.

And I lost it! How could I have been so careless?

I took it to church with me to share at a women’s Bible study and I must have dropped it on my way to the car. I lost another picture at the same time of my grandmother Abbie. I didn’t have a “second” of that one.

I can’t remember the exact reason I took the pictures with me, but it had something to do with people (or women) who had had an impact on your life.


Me, Mom and Kay

My grandmothers – as attested to in the name of this blog – had a profound influence on my life. As did my mother, of course. And my great-grandmothers. How lucky I was to be embraced by love every day – and to always be in the care and protection of my mother and grandmothers.

Mother’s Day did not begin as a day to buy cards and send flowers and take your mother out to brunch. Or to share pictures of them on Facebook. Or on your blog.

The roots of Mother’s Day in the United States began as a call to peace in 1870. And later as one daughter’s remembrance of her mother who worked for that call to peace.

The women in my family, as I knew them, were nurturers and peacemakers – or peacekeepers. Their care and concern extended beyond their immediate families. I knew them to be women who had hearts.

And so I’ll end with this link to ‘From the Bosom of the Devastated Earth,’ a History of Mother’s Day for Peace by Matthew Albracht, published in The Huffington Post 05/07/2013.

And this excerpt from Julia Ward Howe’s “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World” also called the “Mother’s Day Proclamation”, written in 1870 in the aftermath of the U. S. Civil War  and the Franco-Prussian War.

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!… 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.”

May we all have hearts that are tender and reject violence in its many forms in honor of those who nurtured us.

You can read the full text here:

Mothers Day Proclamation copy

Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division

Sepia Sat May 11, 2013And, although I did not stick with the theme this week, this is my contribution to Sepia Saturday. Please pay other participants a visit.

30 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday – Arise All Women (and Men) Who Have Hearts!

  1. What a coincidence. A friend asked me to look into the myth of the “Webbers millions” today.

    It is great that you have so many of these generational photos.

  2. A fitting photo show for this weekend. You were fortunate to have these generational photos. I have only my grands but in my hubby’s collections there are ones with 2 & 3 & 4 generations back. I wonder if the first photo where Drinda has a hat if they had not been at church? Back then they all wore hats to church and then gathered for Sunday dinner. Nice photos

  3. What a sweet photo of your family gathering with you as the guest of honor!

    My parents didn’t have a lot of photos together. I managed to take one two years before my father passed away, and I lost it. Guess I can relate with your feeling of sadness at losing your Grandma’s better photo.

    I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks.

    • Thank for your comments, Hazel. Sorry you lost the photo of your Dad! I’ve lost other pictures, but these were two of my favorites, so I was mad at myself for not taking better care of them.

  4. A great photo of 4 generations, and very natural, especially the cooks apron ! You probably already worked it out, but in England we celebrate Mother’s Day on, and it is confused by many people with, Mothering Sunday, a Christian holiday that falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent. Secularly it became an occasion for honouring mothers of children and giving them presents. It is increasingly being called Mothers’ Day, although that holiday has other origins. During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone “a-mothering”, although whether this term preceded the observance of Mothering Sunday is unclear. In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours, and servants were not given free days on other occasions.
    Text taken from Wikipedia, but broadly I think it is correct.

    • I knew there was a difference and my post would not fall on the correct day for every one in our international sepia community. Thank you for the explanation! Sad for the servant families who had only one day to gather together.

  5. How nice to see the real Abbie and Eveline (of course, the others too). It really is a gift to be surrounded by loving and nurturing mothers and grandmothers. I was with my grandmother Lucille Davis as much as I was with my own parents probably.

    • When mom remarried and we moved away, I was resentful and resented my mother setting the rules for me for a while. My grandmother Eveline had set most of the rules for me while mom was at work. We were lucky to have our grandmothers close!

  6. a Lovely Post! My Love To Mothers Everywhere! I+sympathy regarding lost photographs! (I have several such…although ,funnily enough,these are the very ones that are most vivid in my mind)

    • Thanks, Tony. Hope your son is on the mend. I have forgotten now what the other picture I referred to losing looked like, so it is truly lost. 🙁

  7. How wonderful that you were loved and nurtured by all of these special women when you were young. It’s neat that you have a photo with Abbie & Eveline together. Hope you have a very Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Oh, I certainly remember the name Julia Ward Howe! An abolitionist and a figure in women’s studies programs. If only her words were reality today: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.” If only.

    In 1870, the rift between North and South needed a lot of healing. And it still persists today, in many ways.

    How wonderful that you have a 4-generation picture and that grandmothers and great-grandmothers were a part of your childhood experience. That must have been such a loving household. Perhaps because my mother and father were both youngest children, I never knew either of my grandmothers, and I do feel the loss. I am getting acquainted with them through genealogy, but of course that is not the same.

    I believe that I see facial resemblances in your four generations–of course, one kind of resemblance out of many.

    • I feel very lucky to have had my grandmothers so close for those early years. When I was about 8, we moved away and I only got to see them once or twice a year. I think the family resemblance is very strong between my mom and her mom and grandmother. One of my sisters looks very much like my mom and carries it forward more than I do. That long face and pointy chin… Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. A beautiful post and most appropriate in so many ways for this weekend. You have been fortunate indeed to have so much heart in your family.

    • Thank you, Mike. I was so sad to hear of the shooting at a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans today. The call to disarm and to work for peace rings as true today as it did when written.

  10. The picture and tribute are wonderful. I know the feeling when something important is lost. I’ve also lost or misplaced pictures and news clippings. I try not to be too hard on myself. It makes me value what I still have all the more.

  11. A nice homage to womanhood and the female spirit.
    The message would still be pertinent nowadays
    but it would seem to fall on deaf ears
    as everyone is too busy with greed and power.
    May that spirit arise again and bring us Peace.

  12. Since my own great-grandparents all died before I was born, and in one case four decades before I was born, I’m in awe of those four-generational family photographs – and you have two of them. Sad that you lost one, but thank goodness you still have these. I had a friend when I was at junior school whose great-great-grandmother was still alive – I could hardly believe it.

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