Mothers' Day can bring a mixture of joy and sadness for the wives of servicemen working overseas. Allan Williams, a Gulfport Seabee, is on a six month deployment to Iraq. In the last three years, he's spent 20 months overseas. In the meantime, his wife Shelly is having to care for their four children by herself.
Shelly Williams read aloud the Mother's Day card she'd received from her husband. "When you've loved someone for as long as you can remember and you can no longer imagine an unshared tomorrow you have discovered the meaning of forever."
It was a beautiful card, but for Shelly Williams it seemed bittersweet without her husband Allan there to share this Mother's Day.
"The kids got me some flowers and a card and we're going to be going out for lunch, but it's not a family day," she said. "It's lonely."
The card 17 year old Jeramey got his mother told her that she was "cared about more deeply than you could ever know."
Because they know how hard their father's absence is for their mother, he and 12 year old Michael have taken on the yard work, running errands.. and doing whatever they can to help out.
"It has helped me mature a lot because I have to do a lot more a lot more often than I use to," said Jeramey.
Michael says he has "to watch over my little brother and little sister a lot more. When I go outside I have to take them with me."
Shelly Williams has also gotten support from other military wives and mothers facing deployment.
"Our very first deployment I didn't get involved in anything and the deployment dragged on. It was horrible. Since then I've been very involved and made numerous friends and acquaintances. It keeps you busy."
Jeramey, Michael, Wesley and Charlotte respect their mother's courage, admire her strength and their message for her this Mother's Day is that they love her no matter what.
Allan Williams is due back late this summer.