Mother’s Day can be different for everyone

Sunday, May 13 — today — a special day, or a normal day. No matter how you view today, Mother’s Day or not, know that you are not alone.

“Not all women celebrate Mother’s Day,” said a message in my Facebook inbox last month. I had just posted that I was looking for story ideas. “...I didn’t know if you have written about this. Some women have lost a child, have infertility issues or don’t have a mom.”

Vikki Gutierrez Issacson is the owner and operator of Playa Paper, a custom card shop, out of St. Petersburg, Fla. We have been friends since she read a column I wrote last year about pen pals.

“I made a card recently so it’s on the tip of my mind,” she clarified.

As many families mail cheery cards that proclaim “Happy Mother’s Day,” Vikki decided to make something a little different.

“I originally made a grief Father’s Day greeting card for my family since I lost my dad and my brother passed away, so his girls do not celebrate Father’s Day. It made me think of all the women that do not celebrate Mother’s Day,” said Vikki over messenger Friday. “Some like me are childfree, and others are childless due to infertility, miscarriages or their own mothers being in heaven. When I made the Mother’s Day card, my customers started sharing their own stories of who they were buying the cards for including a friend whose twins had passed away, a sister that was struggling to have kids, and a husband who wanted to offer love to his wife after the loss of their daughter. It’s been heartbreaking to hear their stories, but I am happy I can offer comfort through my little card...”

Recently, a Hoyt Lakes couple welcomed four babies into the world. I am, of course, talk about Allyson and Tony Ponto and their 4 Peas in a Ponto: Carolyn, Olivia, Morgan and Anna.

For years the Pontos suffered with fertility issues and the pain of four miscarriages. After 11 years, their family finally became complete. Today, they are celebrating their first Mother’s Day as a complete family.

“Mother’s Day this year is both hard and amazing,” said Allyson over messenger Friday. “I never forget about the four losses we had. But now I can truly celebrate Mother’s Day and it is almost surreal. I’m so excited to be a mom. Infertility Is the hardest thing I have been through in my 40 years. It’s especially hard when you want to be a mother soooo bad and it ends in loss after loss after loss. But I’m so thankful now that we have these 4 beautiful girls!!! So this Mother’s Day I feel extremely blessed!!!!”

With all the talk of Mother’s Day approaching thoughts turned to my family and our choice to grow love through foster care. Foster care brings to mind all the amazing foster parents I know.

A fellow Range Foster Mother, Beth Denzer-Johnson, posted a special message recently.

“This year, Mother’s Day is taking on a new perspective. Before I was a Mom, I remember sitting in church, trying to hold back the tears as the Moms stood up. I wanted to be standing with them, but had my first miscarriage right before Mother’s Day. That Mother’s Day I felt the heartache of those who long to be ‘Mom’ but haven’t been able to. Many years later, we began foster care and it brought a new perspective of how the biological Mom feels as they celebrate Mother’s Day alone. After more than six years of doing foster care, Mother’s Day is taking on a new perspective for me from that of the child. What if you don’t have a mom to make a gift for? What if the word ‘Mom’ is associated with pain, rejection, hurt? Mother’s Day can come with a lot of heartache. I am so thankful it doesn’t always stay there. My heartbreak turned being childless into three biological children, two adopted children and numerous foster children. I have watched some biological parents take that heartache and turn it to healing and celebrated when they were reunited.”

No matter what today means or brings to you, I wish you a happy day. Even if you are flooded with memories and feelings, search out the good ones and remember all the moms in your life — babysitters, teachers, friends.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom, grandma, aunts and friends.

Also, happy No. 65 Birthday, dad. Not many men can pull off getting cards on Mother’s Day, but you sure can!

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