John FlanneryToday is Mother’s Day and my rainbow son’s birthday as well. He’s 4 today and filled with all the excitement a 4 year old on his birthday can handle. Cake and ice cream! New Paw Patrol toys! Balloons! In sharing his birthday with Mother’s Day, the second celebration gets a little lost. This was on purpose.

My first Mother’s Day I spent mostly in bed. It was only 7 months since Nate and Sam died. I was in the midst of having a miscarriage too, to add insult to injury. I was desperately low and thought I would never have children. Today that day seems so long ago.

But the memory of it remains. I spend Mothers’ Day with my son, but my thoughts are with those for whom Mother’s Day is anything but happy. A lot of people are spending Mother’s Day without any outward sign of their mother status. A lot of people are struggling with infertility. A lot of people are spending their first Mother’s Day without their own mothers for the first time. Some have mothers that are alive, but lost to them, due to estrangement or dementia or even just distance. My heart hurts for everyone hurting on Mother’s Day. Behind the holiday festivities and their pink flowers and purple butterflies is the shadow world of pain and loss and sadness. Wherever you find yourself this Mother’s Day, I see your hurting heart. Know that if you are hurting today, you are NOT alone and there is help.

As I pass out of the shadows, a smile from my son reminds me that the shadows are fleeting. The sun will shine again. And, there’s a dinosaur cake that needs to be devoured.

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