This is my second Mother’s Day without all my children by my side. Another one with family pictures this morning missing one person who is so very much a part of this day. Being asked ‘ What do I want for this day?’ Really the answer is something that no one on this Earth can give me. I just want all my children in the same room, which is something that will never again be possible. To hug them all smushing them in my arms and reveling in the miracles which they truly are.

Being a mom has taught me I am stronger than I ever thought I was. It’s taught me to face hell and I can still keep going. It has shown me love that is greater than my love for someone ever before was. It has taught me more about faith and how desperately we need to rely on our savior.

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It’s taught me what exhaustion is, what fear is and how to let go of the expect ions I’ve had for myself. I’ve learned being the perfect mom doesn’t mean I have the cleanest house, the kids who are always well put together. It doesn’t mean I won’t have moments of total embarrassment from what my kids are doing. Perfect is hugging my girl so tight that she knows

I’ve learned that love and grief isn’t something you just get over. A love of a child isn’t ever going to be the same as a 14 year a old with a broken heart whose told there’s other fish in the sea. I’ve learned love and grief are completely intertwined. You can only grieve something you loved and that doesn’t go away. It will change you forever and it’s supposed to. I’ve learned that God is big enough to handle it all.

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So to the Mom who isn’t with her babies. To the NICU mom fighting for her child’s life, To the Foster Mom’s, bonus Mom’s, regular Mom’s, Mom’s to be and Mom’s in your heart. However you define yourself I hope you find peace today. I hope you celebrate the lives around you. I pray for peace for those who know today is complicated. Those who wish like me that heaven had a phone we could just call and check in on them, or that they could just visit once for another moment. To the frustrated children and spouse’s when we say we want nothing for this day, we just want to look at the lives we’ve been blessed to be a part of and marvel at it. We want to be involved in our kids lives, hear about the good and the bad. Laugh with them cry with them. We just want to be able to say how truly much we love them, and they probably won’t get it until they become parents, but until then we’re going to show them what it is to love them to the moon and back.

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