One day last fall, a neighbor showed me a nest filled with eggshell fragments.

Two days later I spotted tiny goslings and four adults on the water.

Over several weeks I watched the goslings grow until they became young adults.

Two parents and three goslings made up one family and I began to daily seek them and count their gaggle. It took me a while to discover why I was so drawn to them. Then one day it hit me.

They symbolized my own “would-be” family.

Years ago I spent time in an active infertility season during which I experienced three miscarriages and was never able to have a child. I guess the geese became a sweet reminder about my five-member family that never came to be.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the last loss and the decision to stop actively pursuing a family. For me, this anniversary represents an end to the motherhood dream I dreamed for a lifetime.

Over the years I have grieved on many levels, worked through disappointment and bitterness, and learned to grab onto new life pursuits.

Life seas have included the occasional storm: rough waves tossing me back and forth, gale force winds blowing me emotionally off course, and grief rains lashing my face. Faith, time, prayer, family, friends, and purpose have eased the raw pain.

I have learned that I will never “get over” not having children but I can experience meaningful life as I learn to weave my past story into my future endeavors.

Wherever you find yourself on the infertility journey this Mother’s Day, I want to encourage you.

You are not alone in your travels.

There are many who have wandered the roads of grief and loss. I implore you to reach out to someone who has been there, who can offer a listening ear.

Invite trusted friends and loved ones into your walk. Ask them to just be there. They don’t need to offer explanations or advice, just a caring presence to shoulder the burden.

Take your time on this road.

There is no set timeline for grief—everyone’s experience is unique. The important thing to remember is to step forward.

Maybe you take a big step.

Maybe a small one.

You might step off the path for a longer rest stop.

You might take several steps backward. That’s okay.

Engage forward motion again. And don’t stay too long in isolation.

Mother’s Day can be a really tough day for many of us. Have an activity plan in place. Reach out to loved ones and ask for their presence to see you through this upcoming day.


I’ll be praying for you—for comfort, strength, and hope.

We need one another.

We need a gaggle to call our own—those cherished people who paddle alongside through the sun-glistened waters of life.

(Remember…we need each other. Who makes up your gaggle?)