Mother’s Day.  


It’s a special day that can be a grief trigger.  One where I count my blessings and at the same time feel sorrow for what’s missing.  A bittersweet day.  As most holidays are now.  


This year will be my 6th Mother’s Day without Jared.  Six years.  Forever and yesterday.  


We had so many traditions.  The ones that never changed were church, breakfast, and then dinner with friends. Traditions we still honor today. The last year Jared was alive, he told Steven “always take your mom for breakfast on Mother’s Day.  Even when you’re married with a family of your own, never forget your mom on Mother’s Day.”  


That first year celebrating Mother’s Day as a widow, mass was exceptionally difficult.  Seeing all the moms with their husbands and children made focusing on church difficult. But remembering that Jared was sitting with Jesus eased my pain.  This year with the pandemic, mass will be watched on TV instead of celebrated at church.  But the thought will still be there. 


The first year after Jared died, Steven asked for $50 and told me I couldn’t ask questions. After church he asked me to drive to Waffle House.  Where we had breakfast and he paid.  And that has been our tradition ever since.  But this year, with the pandemic, there will be no Waffle House.  But the thought will still be there. 


That first year, Steven was so upset because no one offered to take him shopping to buy me a gift or even a card.  I told him I didn’t need a special gift, that him spoiling me on such a special day was plenty.  But I learned a lesson that day, he wanted to give me a gift.  From that day forward, if no one else offered, for holidays I took him to the store and let him pick out a gift.  But with the pandemic, shopping in the store is not possible so Amazon it is.  But the thought will still be there.  


We always have dinner with good friends on Mother’s Day and the men and children wait on us moms.  Most years my mother has been able to join us.  The first year after Jared died, Steven was so proud to keep my drink full and fix my plate.  His dad trained him well.  But with the pandemic, that Mother’s Day celebration won’t happen this year.  But the thought will still be there. 


Mother’s Day is different now than it was when Jared was alive. And Mother’s Day this year will be different for a variety of reasons. But the thought will still be there and that is all that matters.  The love I feel on Mother’s Day hasn’t and won’t change.  I still get to celebrate with and be spoiled by the best Mother’s Day gift I ever received.  My son.  I’m sure his dad is proud of how well he treats his mother.  Not just on Mother’s Day but every day. 


Happy Mother’s Day. 



Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.