This year more than ever, I have become aware of how many different emotions Mothers Day can elicit.

This year more than ever, I have become aware of how many different emotions Mothers Day can elicit.

For me, it is a happy holiday. My mom is about to turn 80 and she still has her maternal super powers of being able to cook for large groups and fix almost anything with only the tools hidden away in her purse. If a button falls off, she has a needle and thread. I wouldn't be surprised to see her yank a fire extinguisher out of that satchel to put out a blaze.

I hated the long commute, but the months after I moved to Shawnee and before we sold our house in Kansas were great because I could spend evenings with her and have dinner when I got home and breakfast before I left the house.

Now we are close enough to take her to lunch and mow her lawn for Mothers Day. I know, it doesn't sound like a super thoughtful gift, but it's not bad for me. I have always set the bar low so I can meet expectations.

My wife is also a great mother for our two boys. They couldn't be more different it they tried. One is black and one is white but their skin color isn't even the biggest difference between them. From personality types to likes and dislikes, these two are polar opposites. But my wife has no problem mothering both of them. She does well in helping both of them find their own paths to manhood, even when that manhood is really irritating to her.

I also know several young families who are celebrating their first Mothers Day. The joy of finally adding to their families and celebrating new motherhood is fun to watch.

But as my mother prepares to celebrate her eightieth birthday, I have watched friends grieve after losing their moms far too soon. There is nothing worse than thinking about how Mothers Day for them is a reminder of their biggest loss and greatest pain.

And then there are the young families who have lost children in the womb or are still struggling to conceive and this holiday simply reminds them of unfulfilled desires.

Maybe it has been a bad year or maybe I am just getting older and seeing different phases of life than before, but I couldn't help feeling extra gratitude this year because Mothers Day for me is a time of joy.

Take care of your mom today. She deserves it. If you know friends who are still waiting to be moms or have lost their moms, be good to them too.