As co-founder of Mother’s Day, former Raleigh resident Madeline Procter had very firm ideas about how her four children should celebrate.
No gifts. No fancy cards. Don’t spend money.
A heartfelt note is all you need, she told them.
Procter’s descendants, including a few of her children, will gather at her grave in Historic Oakwood Cemetery at 3 p.m. this Mother’s Day for a tea party to honor her memory and kick off a tour of the gravesites of other famous mothers buried there.
Last week, staff writer Chelsea Kellner talked to two of Madeline’s children, Marriott Procter Little and Doris Procter Bason, about the event, the importance of a holiday devoted to moms and their mother’s enduring legacy in their lives. The sisters grew up in Raleigh.
Responses have been edited for length.
My understanding is that she worked as her only assistant for 10 years. The first thing they did was stand on street corners the second Sunday in May in Philadelphia with washtubs, one filled with red carnations and one filled with white carnations. They would stop people on the street and say, if your mother is living, write her a letter, even if she is living in the same house, telling her how much you appreciate and love her, and wear a red carnation. If your mother is dead, wear a white carnation.