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These faces…..  I know and love each and every one of them.  They are all dear friends and I’d love to tell you each of their stories.  I love the joy and love that shines through each of these pictures.  If you’re a mom or dad, I bet you have pictures that don’t look all that different from these.

Each of these pictures is of a mom and their kiddo who is battling or has battled cancer.  Some are still fighting, some have graduated to survivor clinic, and some have run ahead of all of us to Heaven.  If you looked at pictures of these moms and kids on the day before their kiddo was diagnosed with cancer, they wouldn’t have looked much different.  Maybe the kiddo had a little more hair and maybe Mom had a few less worry lines…  But the love was the same.  The joy was the same.  And if you saw a similar picture of the survivors today, they probably wouldn’t look that much different either.  Maybe the kiddo has a little more hair now, maybe there’s a bit more color in his face, and maybe she’s a bit taller…  But the love in those pictures is the same and the joy is too.

The picture of the mom whose child has gone on ahead of her to Heaven would look different though.  It’s missing someone.  That same someone is missing in every part of her life now… missing from every piece of every day (for her, for dad, for siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends).  There is a bit of sadness in these pictures now, even beneath the smile they show for the camera.  But do you know what is still the same?  The love…  The love that never leaves and stays with us until we see our sweet babies again. And I argue that there can still be joy, albeit bittersweet….  Memories of our kiddos can still bring us joy in the midst of our longing to see and hold and touch them.

So on this Mother’s Day, we celebrate the love that moms have for their babies and that all of our sweet kiddos have for their moms.  We celebrate the joy our children bring.  Healthy, fighting, here, or gone….  we give thanks for the love and the joy that’s there.  Happy Mother’s Day from Catie’s Fund and CURE.