Every year I tell my own children that, with kids like them, every day is mother's day. As sappy as that sounds, I absolutely mean it. My son and daughter are the most incredible blessings and I'm privileged to get to be their mother.
That's the sweet.
But what I miss on is my own mother. Her last Mother's Day was in 1991. She was dying.
We lost Mom to an astrocytoma -- a brain tumor. There were two of them, actually, already huge when they were discovered, and inoperable. Brain cancer is nearly-consistently fatal -- a horrible disease no one ever deserves.
Mom would be 71 today. I can't really fathom that because, in my mind, she's frozen at 53.
She met only one of her five grandchildren. Sarah, my niece, was 1-and-a-half when Mom died -- too young to have any memories of her. Mom knew that would be the case. It was one of the things that made her saddest.
My children know her only from a handful of pictures and from what I tell them. Their Grandma Ann would be so proud of them. They know that, and it's true. I can't begin to convey to them what they have missed by not knowing her.
My sisters and I do little things for each other's children that go beyond, I think, what we would do otherwise. We try, in some small way, to fill the void. There is no way, of course, to truly do that.
I love my father dearly. And I know that a father's influence is incredibly important in the life of a child, as my own father's has been in my life.
Still, there is something absolutely unique about a mother's love. No one else in your life can ever love in quite the same way as your own mother. None of us would even be here, actually, without the love and care of mothers for their children throughout countless generations.
Happy Mother's Day to us all, whatever our circumstances. For good or bad, for bitter or sweet, in honor of caring mothers everywhere.