Mothers' Day ... perhaps the most-overlooked holiday in the working world.

Of course, it's not exactly a holiday, which doesn't help matters much.

And as I walk through the halls of CSI, I have to force myself to remember that most of my friends and co-workers are single... or, at least, in Gil Grissom's case, married to their jobs. There are actually very few married CSIs. There was Ecklie, over in Days, but assholes like him can't be trusted to wish someone a simple "Happy Mothers' Day."

They are all good people. They just forget sometimes.

It's hard for me to forget though. After Eddie died, everything is so much harder. And Lindsey, she tries so hard, but I can tell she feels it too. I hear her sometimes, talking to her teddy bear, about Eddie. Eddie gave her that teddy bear for her birthday, back when we were still living in the same house. Then it was just a friend. Now it's as if it's the only link to her father that she has left.

I'm her mother, and I try to make life normal. I work for fifteen hours a day, every day. And while it's enough for us to scrape by, it's not enough for Lindsey to have a mom who's always there for her, who's there to take her to the park, or play with her, or help her with her homework.

Some days it's so hard to pull myself out of bed, with the knowledge in my mind that today is going to be the same as yesterday, picking apart peoples' lives, exposing their dirty little secrets, seeing the terrible, awful things that humans are capable of doing to each other.

Mother's Day was a relief, back when Eddie was alive. Even though he could be a real jerk, at least he understood what I had to go through every single day to make ends meet. Even when we were on less-than-speaking terms, he'd find a way to make Mothers' Day easier for me. One year I came home to a home-cooked meal. Another year arrived with a gift certificate to a spa.

But Eddie's gone now. And while I can't remember whether to love or hate him, he appreciated my hard work... at least one day of the year.

And now, casefiles in hand as I make my way down the hallway, I think about what life would be like to be married again. To be appreciated for Mothers' Day and every other day of the year. To be loved.

Ah, yes. Day-dreaming about marriage on the way to the hospital to run a rape kit. What a wonderful world we live in.

A hand comes down on my shoulder, startling me. Glancing over, I see Jim Brass, a slightly concerned look in his eyes. He grins and hands me a perfect, red rose. "Happy Mothers' Day," he says gruffly, planting a little kiss on my cheek.

And then he's gone, striding quickly in the opposite direction towards his office. And I gaze at the rose, once again thinking of appreciation, and realizing that, of all the people at CSI, Jim Brass would know the most. It ran deeper than just the words. The true meaning lay in what the words just couldn't say.

And I smiled.
.: THE END :.