SOFREP readers, this article and poem were written by C. Campbell, the sister of the late CPO Chris Campbell, in honor of all of the gold-star mothers on Mother’s Day.—Desiree, managing editor

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about placing my usual order of flowers for my mom on Mother’s Day. This year, I requested yellow roses, white lilies, and a blue ribbon. There was a special reason behind each choice. My mom is now a gold-star mom, thus the yellow roses. The white lilies, for me, represent her loss. My brother was born in September, and blue is the color of his birthstone. The little note delivered with the flowers is simple but heartbreaking: “Happy Mother’s Day. Love, Cindy and Chris.”

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the women in our lives who gave us life, swaddled us, fed and clothed us, wiped our tears, potty-trained us, were our first playmates, planned birthday parties, celebrated holidays, took us to school, disciplined us, and did their best to guide us to lead our best lives. I am certain none of them would claim perfection! That’s the price of humanity—loving imperfection.

As we recognize the special contribution of moms, today will be a day of sadness for some mothers who will no longer receive a visit, a call, or a card. In the Virginia Beach community, an immeasurable loss was sustained in 2011 that attacked the natural order of life. Mothers who cradled their infants, witnessed first steps, spent numerous hours on the playground, sat cheering countless games on the sidelines, attempted to set boundaries during the tumultuous teens, and spent many moments in prayer for a safe return were notified that their sons were no longer alive.