This was the last picture I had with just my girls and me. It was Easter, 2015, the same day we decided to take Katie to the doctor because of her unexplained bruising.

There are many days that I dread since Katie has passed. Days that, before she was gone, were happy, joyful days … her birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and actually most every holiday. But, most special days now are a reminder of loss. Yes, I am also reminded of sweet memories, but loss tends to overshadow them so that I actually look forward to those days ending so that I can have just another regular day.

Besides the day of her death, Mother’s Day is my hardest day. I think I actually despise it. That’s a horrible thing to say, but it’s the truth. I don’t anticipate it at all, and I can’t wait until it’s over.

Mother’s Day is a day designed for mothers with children who are alive. I get it. It’s a celebration of all mothers, but it just makes me sad. Because as a mother, the only thing I want is to have both my daughters with me. That’s all I ever wanted on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately now, my wish for us to be together on this earth will never happen. This is where you, the reader, remind me that one day we will all be together. Yeah, yeah. I know. But, it still hurts now. And, the life that we have to live is in the NOW, not the future. It’s hard to continuously keep your eyes on the future when you have to live every second in the now.

On Mother’s Day, I want to pull away. I want to be away from everyone. I don’t want the pity looks. I don’t want the “I’m sorry.” I don’t want to go to church and see all the happy moms with all of their children. I just don’t want to.

I sound really bitter, don’t I? But, it’s not bitterness I feel. It’s just loss. And, once you’ve experienced this kind of loss, you tend to not sugar coat anything ever again.

So, for all you mothers like me out there, it’s okay to stay home. It’s okay to want to be alone. It’s okay to not want to talk. It’s also okay to go out and do whatever you want. It’s okay to talk about your child to your heart’s content. This is a hard day. Do what you have to do to make it through to a regular, old Monday.

For me, I’ll actually be speaking at a church service, which as you just read will make the day a little more difficult. But, I do it for Katie. I do it for Jesus. I do it for my family. I do it for all those who need to hear the message. And, I do it for me. Because to not tell Katie’s story would also be a great loss.

The greatest Mother’s Day gift would be the reward of knowing that I did my best as a mom for both of my girls. I think that’s all any mom ever wants: to know that they’re a good mom. I’m still doing my very best to be a good mom to Kylie, but also to the one who’s not with me anymore. Katie … I love and miss you so much. I hope I was a good mom to you.