What I learned about Mother’s Day after losing our son.

You might ask…how can not having as many gifts or cards help you get through Mother’s Day? Wouldn’t it be the hardest day of the year for you? All those memories and emotions. And seeing all the families at the restaurants with multiple generations of mothers with balloons and gifts, love and laughter.

Yes…yes it is.

But so are just about every other milestones in life that were expected and not met. So what do I do with all these expectations?

It’s challenging every year, I am not going to lie. I remember all the hand made cards made in grammar school. I can hear my husband and son Tim turning on the blender for Eggs Benedict in bed for me.

Our last time together was Mother’s Day weekend 2010. The only good thing I can say about him no longer being here…is he now has a really good excuse for not sending a card. 😉

But as I progress through the years what I have noticed…is well…I listen to other mothers. And quite frankly I am a little taken aback. And maybe it’s me, as any parent that has lost a child will tell you, we are saddened when we hear a mother complain about their children. But where did, by a political officials decree, make it so that we now legally exercise our entitlement issues onto those that we love?

When I realize a statement is beginning with “after all I’ve done for you”, it might be time to rethink the statement.

Little own, it’s not scriptural to expect payment for the things we do for others while on earth. We are to store up heavenly treasures, not earthly ones.

As I briefly mentioned in my book:

The larger the difference between expectations and reality the easier it is to let in bitterness and anger for what they didn’t do for us come in.

And it’s an easy trap to fall in to. We see the commercials and advertisement for those heart necklaces with gems in them that are representations of our children and think “wow…I should clip this ad out and put it on the refrigerator”. Or on social media. They’ll get the hint. As I deserve that gift. I work hard. I do everything for everyone else.

And I fell in for a few moments. My daughter was in route from San Francisco to DC over this weeknd. I told myself not to go there, but I let the thought slip in that maybe she planned the flight to stop over in San Diego. After all, it’s kind of on her way home. I envisioned the hugs and sushi we’d share. And then I woke up. I had allowed myself to fall in the “false expectation” zone we easily fall prey to.

So…how do I get over it? It’s a renewing of the mind. I turn those thoughts of “what if” to “what is” and be thankful.

For nothing has ever brought me greater joy than to hear someone say to me: “You must be Leanne and Tim’s mom!” It’s me that should be honoring God for giving them to me to watch over. And not expecting them to honor me.

  • And honoring God would be to do everything I can do, in deed or by example
  • Showing them the way to Him using the wonderful gift of motherhood God has bestowed on me.
  • After all I am still a created being. And we are to worship the creator, not the created.
  • And to be thankful for the gift of children.

Also one way to get over oneself, is to do something for someone else. I chose to make little gift bags of goodies for my sister in laws. To write this blog and confess my confessions to help me stay on track.

While I hope every year my daughter will…just for the heck of it, decide to visit me this weekend. I don’t put demands on her. I don’t want her actions to be from guilt trips. (Not that that would work any way…;).

When my prodigal daughter returns I don’t think her testimony will be ‘wow, I really woke up when my mother made me come home for Mother’s Day’. Or any other guilt trips I could impose. Being respectful takes practice and patience. Which I am still learning. It’s an attitude adjustment I choose to make. Otherwise the pitty parties are all too evident.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t honor our mothers. And if you have children that do things for you…awesome! You are blessed.

And by the way, Leanne is not oblivious. She sent me these! My husband is wonderful and gives me cards. The trick though is to not expect those left behind to fill the void left behind.

  1.  it’s unfair to them.
  2. Only God can do that anyway.

So I choose to not make this day a reason for entitlement. As that just leads to bitterness when my expectations are not met.

So today…as any day, I honor our place of ministry’s that it is. For children are gifts to us. And we never know when our gifts could be no longer be here with us. And loosing Tim has been a great motivator as one realizes how short life can be.

Our fingerprints on these human beings is much more important than eggs benny in bed.

So blessings to all of you..enjoy the day God as given you. For we never know what tomorrow may bring.

And would love to know how you plan to spend your Mother’s Day.



13 Comments Add yours

  1. Christine says:

    Thanks for sharing this heart felt message, Emily. Wonderfully penned and beautiful thoughts. Thanks for blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily L. Pittsford says:

      Thank you very much and for taking the time to read it 😊.


    1. Thank you, and thank you for following this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words touch me deeply. In March 2016 my mother died, then in less than 30 days, in April 2016 my only son died. I am tender and I have made plans to surround myself with people i love on Mothers day 2017. Thanks for this perfect-for-me post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      I am so sorry. There’s just no perfect words are there? But almost a internal acknowledgement with each other that we know…we know the pain.
      You are wise to make those plans.
      May Gods peace and comfort wrap you especially well on this first Mother’s Day without him.
      Much love,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Josie Elkins-Coleman says:

    Beautifully said Em & amen to this!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you.🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh
      Thank you Josie,
      Happy Mother’s Day to you as well.
      And an extra hug for your mom!
      Much love,


  4. Mary Lenz says:

    You share some very raw and intense emotions with complete honesty! Excellent read and information. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary for taking the time to read it. And your welcome…”show and tell” was always my favorite subject in school. 😉
      Much love,


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