My Take—The Real Meaning of Mother’s Day

This Sunday will mark my fourth Mother’s Day. I have not held my baby in my arms for any of them.

I was pregnant Mother’s Day 2009. I got cards from my husband and mother, and thought about the next year when I’d wake up to a baby and be a “real mother.” My perception of a real mother was so off. In November, I gave birth to Cora, and she was perfect. Except I didn’t know she was born with a broken heart—congenital heart disease.

She died suddenly and unexpectedly only five days later. The last two Mother’s Days have been spent wishing I could hide from the day’s barrage of images of “perfect families.”

For too many mothers across the globe, Mother’s Day is spent not holding our babies, but visiting their grave stone, or in the hospital willing them to get better.

In Iraq, Mother’s Day for thousands of moms means knowing their child’s heart is a ticking time bomb. With every pump of blood, their child’s heart becomes a little more weakened. Without lifesaving surgery, they will die. It’s a fact, this will be the last Mother’s Day for hundreds of Iraqi mothers to hold their babies.

I won’t ever hold my daughter again. Instead, I throw all of my energy into hoping all moms see their babies become adults.

To the mothers sitting bedside in Iraq, hopelessly watching your child struggle, I’m glad Preemptive Love Coalition is here. Hope is coming. It won’t come in time for all of you, but it’s coming. I promise to do everything I can to make it come faster, and I hope other moms will join me.

That’s the real meaning of Mother’s Day for me, working to make sure every mother gets to spend the day with her child, in the U.S., in Iraq, and across the world.


Kristine is an advocate and activist based in Indiana, and she is responsible for many of the lifesaving operations we’ve provided over the years. Take a few minutes to read her story! To see how she is making lifesaving, legislative change on behalf of mothers, visit her website: