KAMLOOPS — After her Mother died in 1905, American Anna M. Jarvis began campaigning for a day to honour all mothers. In 1908, the first Mother’s Day Service was held in West Virginia, and by 1914, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. One year before Mother’s Day was recognized across the U.S. Francis Watt was born in England. We spoke the centenarian yesterday about being a Mother, and how she’s seen the job change over the years.
You can’t change the cards you’re dealt in life; just how you play them.
Frances Watt just keeps playing those cards. Yesterday the 104-year-old celebrated her 77th Mother’s Day, with her eldest daughter, Kitty McAllister by her side.
“Oh! Mother’s Day. I’m not doing anything,” Watt replied when asked if she had any plans. “I’m getting lots of phone calls from the family and so on, but I never really think of it as anything special.”
Watt is the mother of five children and has 10 grandchildren, as well as 10 great-grandchildren. She remembers her journey through motherhood fondly.
“There are different stages, you know,” she explained. “From the time they’re babies… you follow them in school, and growing up, and going to University. They get married and they have children. That’s what it’s like being a Mum.”
Watt’s daughter Kitty now has children and grandchildren of her own and is thankful for the example her Mother set as a parent.
“She never, ever interfered,” Kitty says. “She never was one to say ‘Well you should do it this way, or you should do this.’”
Frances replied, “I look upon my children as knowing more about things as I do, so I sort of leave it to them.”
Kitty says one of the big differences she’s seen in her lifetime is the role each parent plays when it comes to raising a family.
“Dad’s are way more involved now than they were ever before,” Kitty says.
For Watt, she’s happy to put her cards on the table
“I look back over 104 years… there’s an awful lot to remember. Ups and downs and so on. You know, it’s not bad right now. Everyone is just fine.”
Thankful for her health, her family, and the time she gets to spend, playing her game to best of her ability.
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