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©2018 by Kelly Neff Speaks.

  • Kelly Neff

A Tangled-Up Mess



Photo: Kelly Neff


This year, Mother’s Day was filled with a whole mess of jumbled-up emotions. It has been this way for the last 8 years. This year was no exception because it was the first Mother's Day without my husband, best friend, and father of my four children.

On one hand, my heart was filled with joy, overflowing with tremendous love and deep gratitude for my children. On the other hand, it was a painful reminder that I am temporarily separated from two of those I hold dear to my heart. I believe I will see them again one day, and while I take comfort in the fact that they are free from the pain and struggles of life here on earth, that does not diminish the excruciating pain I feel here and now in their absence.


Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to honor mothers everywhere and a time to be thankful for and enjoy our children. We often wish others a happy Mother’s Day in passing, meaning to bestow blessing and good wishes upon them. When several people wished me a happy Mother's Day on Sunday, I found myself wanting to say it back, but I was frozen in thought momentarily. Awkwardly, I changed the subject without returning the good wishes. You see, it occurred to me in those moments that I had no idea what was going on in the lives of those strangers and I became afraid to say the words back to them for fear I could be unintentionally inflicting pain.

I pondered the fact that while Mother’s Day is supposed to be celebratory, it can also be extraordinarily painful. I realized there must be so many others like me who struggle with mixed emotions on this day… those who have lost their mother, those who have lost a child, those who have wanted to be a mother but could not…


Please know it is not my intention to discourage you from wishing others a happy Mother's Day. Without question, Mother’s Day is an important day to celebrate and show honor, but it is equally important to recognize that what is joyous for some, may be full of sorrow or be a jumbled-up combination of the two for others.


Blessings to all mothers, all yet-to-be mothers, all who wish to be mothers, and all mothers who are mourning. May you be blessed beyond measure whether you are joyous, sorrowful, or a tangled-up mixture of the two. No matter what your circumstances are, know you are loved dear one.


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