My wife Jackie and I both suffered the loss of our first spouses.
Jackie's husband Tom was killed instantly in a car accident in Montana.
She was suddenly without her best friend, and the only parent to three dependent children.
She tells the story of the first Mother's Day after Tom's death....
Each of the children wanted to go shopping and had a few dollars to spend to honor "Mama."
She drove them to the shopping center and waited in the car.
One by one they came out of the store with excitement spilling over for what they'd chosen.
And she couldn't help but noticing that her son's package was really quite large.
Sunday morning of the big day came and the kids could hardly wait for her to open the gifts: *A basket filled with bubble bath and body lotions.
*A wallet with a note tucked inside...that she treasures to this day.
*And then the large gift from her son...excitement building as she began to open the bag...and discovered it was a large memorial marker that had brightly colored plastic flowers with the word, "MOM" in big letters.
You guessed it...a marker for a mother's grave.
He had found his gift in the Memorial Day gift aisle.
Unaware of what it really meant...he saw it as a great way to tell his neighbors how great his mother was.
So all that day, and several days after, this wonderful grave marker sat in their front yard to make her child's love for her known.
But that is not all that happened that day...an "alone" place in a restaurant, a deep sadness seeing all the couples in church, and one of the children throwing up in the car just before they got home.
Mother's Day is almost here.
Would you join me in being sensitive to some of the 9.9 million single mothers all around us? Mothers living with children younger than 18?....and that number is climbing rapidly.
There is time to plan something special, to adopt a young mother for the day, to do something joyful for the children, to make that hug and expression of love last a few minutes longer.
'Cause Mother's Day really should be special for every Mother.