This is a difficult Mother’s Day. Like every mom who has lost a child – whether in battle, an accident, to mental or physical illness, or however – I feel the shock of events. Ross’ imprisonment is not a death, but a deep loss nonetheless. There is the disbelief, the recurring questions: how could this have happened? How can this be real? The grief is always lurking and rises in waves amidst daily life.

Yet on this Mother’s Day I can say I am proud of my wonderful son. Yes, this is true despite his being in prison. Ross is strong, honest, kind, loving, generous and courageous. He has rock solid integrity, and lives according to his high standards. The way he is handling being in prison inspires me. He valiantly stays positive and makes the most of each monotonous day, trying to be a force for good in a bleak and lonely place. He says the hardest part is his concern about what this is doing to me, not what he faces every day.

Ross says the prisoners all agree that no one loves them, and stands by them, like their mothers. So to all the mothers with loved ones in prison: Happy Mother’s Day.