Mother's Day used to be a great day for me to celebrate my mom (that part is still true) and just enjoy church and family.
Time changed that.
We had two miscarriages before we had first Kal, then Kara, then we had another miscarriage. The final blow was our little boy, Bruce, who was stillborn on his due date 5 1/2 years ago.
Each year since that first miscarriage, Mother's Day has been extremely hard to bear thinking about all the children who should be present in our family and are not.
I know I'm not alone in my experience with losing children.
What I go through every Mother's Day heightens my sensitivity toward many other ladies who experience more sadness than joy on what was intended to be a happy day.
The ladies (and the men) who have lost their mothers.
The ladies who want children more than anything and can't have them.
The foster moms (and dads) whose adoptions fell through.
The ladies who have had any miscarriages.
The ladies who walk out of the maternity ward with empty arms.
The parents who have lost children to some tragedy after birth.
The people who are cut off from their moms or children by one party's refusal to have any relationship.
The man whose wife, the mother of his children, has died.
The longer you live, the more categories of that list you'll experience.
So this Mother's Day, I'm going to celebrate my mother, my mother-in-law, and my grandmothers, one who is still living, and one who is living in my memory.
I'll love my children and grieve for the ones who are missing from our family photos.
I'm going to reach out with prayer and kind words to people I know personally who struggle every Mother's Day because their lives look very different from the glowing Hallmark cards.
So to Beth, Monica, Mindy, Angie, Becky, Nicole, Nicole, Carolyn, Rebekah, Mel, Jenna, Heather, Shoshannah, Susie, James, Darryl Shalana, Sarah, Michelle, Jenny, Ashley, Jeff, Kristen, Shauna, Christine, Karen, Jenna, Jerri, and many more, you're in my thoughts and prayers.