Mother’s Day is really a celebration of the feminine side of humanity. In addition to giving birth to and rearing children, there are so many very special ways to be a mother. Whether you are one of the iconic mothers like Coretta Scott King or the infamous Octomom, Nadya Suleman, or the mother of a movement or cause like Rosa Parks, hailed as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, you contribute to the softer greatness of the world.

The history of Mother’s Day traces back to 1872; however, it did not become a true American holiday until 1908.

Now Mother’s Day is the world’s most widely celebrated holiday. It’s a day when the crime rate is down and good cheer resonates in the air.

It’s a time when florists, retailers, and restaurateurs enjoy through-the-roof profits as even the youngest of offspring endeavor to give their mom a gift and/or spend this special day with her.

As the mother of two children, I always look forward to Mother’s Day, and with the recent birth of my fourth grand-daughter, I am looking forward to the glorious celebration. The joy of being a grandmother far exceeds the joy of parenting, mainly because the grandchildren’s love is so unconditional and free from judgment and lingering resentment about your inadequate parenting skills or the mistakes of not knowing.

This year, my daughter Christina has planned something really special, but I can’t help but think of the mothers of the children killed in the Sunny Brook School shooting and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

They are about to experience the first of many times when they will feel the true pain of losing a child.

I can’t help but think of the mothers of the victims of senseless gun violence like Hadiya Pendleton and hundreds of other black children who are gunned down daily in Chicago’s streets.

I am outraged when I think of little 1-year-old Bryeon Hunter, dying at the hands of his young and obviously deranged mother, who truly broke the mother’s code by bringing harm to her own child. My heart breaks for his grandmother, who is robbed of the joy of watching him grow into a wonderful man.

I’m not saying this to put a damper on your Mother’s Day celebration but to encourage you to enjoy yourself and put a great deal of gratitude and appreciation for what you have into your celebration. When you are smiling and enjoying your children, whisper a prayer, or send a good wish toward the mothers whose hearts are a little sad or broken because as mothers, we are connected by the bonds that are not separated through death.

Mother’s Day is truly the celebration of the softer, loving, and tender side of our society.

Happy Mother’s Day!