Today as many families celebrate this beautiful day dedicated to Mothers all around the world I want to take time to remember those mothers who celebrate empty-handed and often with a void in their heart.  From the loss of their own mother or a child that went too soon or never was able to be.

A mom is thought of as the backbone of the family.  The person who holds it all together and makes it work even when there seems to be no way possible she makes the way and does it while looking like a total champ.  The world could be falling apart around her but with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face she says "I've got this."

Many mothers are waking up and anticipating a day full of appreciation.  If you have little ones there will be handmade gifts and special meals.  Husbands running around doing their best to try and let mom sleep in just a bit longer this morning.  Lots of hugs, kisses and thank yous.

To the mother without her own mother to celebrate on Mother's Day.  Watching as others post pictures with their beautiful mother and how thankful they are to get to spend time together can rustle up tears, anger, bitterness, laughter, and many other things and I say feel every single one of those emotions to the deepest degree.  As you cling to the memories of your mother;  the laughter you shared, the past Mother's days you spent with one another, a particular smell from her kitchen or the sweet scent of her perfume in the air when she left your home after visiting grab those, hold them tight, cry, laugh, scream do what you need to do to get through today.  No one knows how you feel.  Remember her, talk with her, tell her Happy Mother's Day, and share a story about her with your kids, your husband, your friends a stranger.  Just never forget to speak of her it keeps her alive and well and thriving through you.  Which I think most mothers would say is the very best part of who they are (their children).

I struggle each year wishing I had just one more moment with my momma.  The very last picture I have of us together was Mother's Day 2008.  I picked her up and we shopped in Evansville (that was our thing).  I often wonder if I had known that would be our last Mother's Day would I have done anything differently?  Would I have hugged her one more time or told her what an amazing mother she was over and over, would we have laughed more?  When I look back I remember us doing all of those things.  When it was her and I we lived in the moment and tried to give our full attention to one another.

Other mothers are thinking of a loss in a different way today.  Some of you never had the opportunity to hold your precious baby as they did not enter this world.  You may feel like you were robbed and you were and it is okay to feel that way.  No baby shower or nursery, no sleepless nights, or the first day of school.  You should have had and deserved all of those rites of passage as a mother.

To the mother who has watched their child being lowered into the ground wishing you could take their place or go with them and leave this lonely world never wanting to imagine one more day without them.  We had plans for our children?  As women, we grow up naming our kids at a young age before we even marry and we have their entire lives thought up in our heads before they even start Kindergarten.  It is what we do.  Our plans never included continuing on in life without our babies by our side.

My Kathern Elizabeth would be turning 16-years-old this week.  I wonder what she would look like, how she would sound if she would be a soccer player like I was or a cheerleader or love to read.  I imagine her and Charlotte together playing dress up and doing hair.  I smile at the fights they would probably have when Charlotte went into her room to take her things.  I think of her play ball with the boys and bossing them around.  I smile hoping we would be as close as my own momma and I were.

I can think of a million emotions I have felt over the years since losing my daughter in 2004 and my mother in 2008.  I have wondered why I had to lose both my daughter and my mother four years apart.   I have cried enough tears to fill the ocean full.

I am here to tell you no matter how you grieve, how you feel, how you celebrate is your own.  Make it just what you want or don't want it to be.

You don't have to celebrate at all.  The world sometimes tells us we must do A, B, and C in order to be what we need to be.  This just isn't true.  There is no instruction manual on how you are supposed to grieve the loss of loved ones.  To each his or her own.  To be totally honest it sucks that we even have to think about it in the first place.  No one should ever have to say goodbye to their mother or child.

Some years I jump up out of bed and am ready to face the world and then there are other years I want to hide under the pillow and let the day pass without a thought.  Both of those things are acceptable.

If you know someone who is celebrating Mother's Day with empty arms and a heavy heart please be the friend they need today.  Love them through this and not just on Mother's Day but other days throughout the year.  The pain never leaves it just eases from time to time.

I am praying for each of you in a very special way today.  And hugging you from afar.  There is no pain like that of losing a child or parent.

Psalms 34:18 says The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

May our spirits be renewed and may we feel the presence of our loved ones and even more so the Lord during these hard times.

May we remember our loved ones for who they have made us in their presence and even more so now in their absence.

Happy Mother's Day and many hugs to each of you.

Remembering Lost Loved Ones

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