I believe Mother's Day is probably my toughest day of the year. While wondering why it would be more difficult than some of the other "special" dates, it was suggested to me maybe it was because that day is ours specifically. That day our child would do something for us, and he was not here to do that. Friends or family hopefully remember our child on his birthday or anniversary date. Others might remember us on our birthday, or Christmas, other holidays, but only our child remembered us on Mother's Day or Father's Day. We are tormented by the advertising landslide; be it television, print or in the stores during those two "special" days. The theme usually promotes something like, "Wouldn't you like to receive this item on your day?" The advertising reminds us the "thing" we would treasure most we can't have. It's also a day Moms or Dads are recognized in church, taken out to dinner or a ball game; all those family things. This special day we have to handle on our own - Moms on Mother's Day, and Dads on Father's Day.

When Steve was in elementary school, his school sold flowers for Moms just before Mother's Day. Gene would take Steve to the sale to buy me hanging plants for the patio. After Steve went on to middle, and then high school, they continued to get me hanging plants for Mother's Day. After Steve died, I decided I still needed to have those flowers on Mother's Day. So Gene would take me to buy them. We would go to the cemetery (no mom should have to do THAT on Mother's Day), and then to get flowers.

Gene's special memory is of a Mother's Day that was also Gene's birthday. Our dog had also been hit by a car and was recuperating. On the way to Steve's baseball game that Sunday, (which was our favorite family event - watching him play ball) Steve told us he was going to hit a home run for each of us - Mom, Dad and Brandy. Steve did hit three home runs that day!

Over the years, Mother's Day has become somewhat easier. It still creeps up though. This past year we sold our home and now live full time in our fifth wheel trailer. I got a plant in a pot this time instead of the hanging basket, and it moved around with us. In October, we came home from shopping and the wind had been blowing. We noticed my plant, with bare dirt, was laying on the ground, and the plastic pot it was in was gone. I fell to pieces. We both walked all over the campground looking for my pot, but it was gone. I cried, Gene got in the truck and went to Home Depot, bought me a new pot and potting soil, and he put it all back together. That meant so much to me. I was surprised, eight years later, to find I could still get so easily upset over something that was just a potted plant. I still have that plant!

We tell others that we, and they, are still parents. However, we don't feel much like it, do we? I want him here to give me a Moms day hug! We have to make Mother's Day or Father's Day special for ourselves, somehow making it a day of remembering, and knowing our child would remember us. Whether it is by buying flowers, having a special meal, looking at special pictures, going somewhere that was special to you as a family, make it easier on yourself by having a plan for getting through another of "those days."

Linda and Gene Shaw, Mom and Dad of Steven Eugene Shaw, 2/21/80-10/28/95

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