Mother's Day is a special day to honor everything Moms do. From packing lunches, helping with homework, attending games, and more, being a mother takes time, energy, and untold restless hours. But not every mother gets to spend this special day with their children. Sadly for some, Mother's Day is a day of grief.
Brianne Mansfield knows this and has been doing the Mother's Day Memorial Sidewalk project for four years. Each year Mansfield takes to a sidewalk near Locust and Washington Street and, with sidewalk chalk, writes the names of children lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.
"The Mother's Day Sidewalk started as a long-distance way to honor families who have lost children," told Mansfield. "I work with the Springfield chapter of M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) and wanted to do something special for those mothers grieving during such a major holiday."
For Mansfield, this project is personal. "Our daughter and oldest child, Auralia Noel Mansfield, is also on the sidewalk. I know too well how painful Mother's Day can be when you know there should be a little one in your arms who is not."
Every year names are submitted to her from all over the county and some from other states. The dates of when the children passed range from 1963 to now; this year, Mansfield spent two days and wrote 403 names down. She mentions, "It was definitely the most challenging year to work around the rain." But she did complete it. If you want to see it or know more, visit the Facebook Page Mother's Day Memorial Sidewalk Project.
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