As the 30th March edges ever closer, the colossal engine that is Mother's Day rolls inexorably forwards : but what of those hapless individuals and families that find themselves enmeshed in its uncaring gears, torn and bloodied by the passing of the mighty leviathan ?
Consider Dave. Son, husband, father, working the grey area between inept and incompetent. A chance acerbic put-down between wife and mother, the bile flows, and suddenly the lovingly crafted plan lies bruised and broken. See his dead eyes, the pallid complexion, the suffering writ large on his face.
Dave is a fighter. He is no stranger to conflict and bloodshed. He's seen Saving Private Ryan a dozen times, played Call of Duty : Black Ops, even been present at the birth of one of his children. But this grizzled veteran is no match for the ordeal to come : prolonged immersion in a simmering cauldron of seething resentment as the clan matriarchs play out the Great Game of Hearts and Minds around the sunday lunch table. No one will be spared. No one is immune.
Dave is poorly equipped to face such unrelenting onslaught, exhausted by the struggle to remain simultaneously impartial and supportive. Coming so soon after the carnage of Valentine's day, and with the four-day sniperfest of Easter looming large, it is unlikely that Dave will make it through to May.
Time may have run out for Dave, but with your help we can make a difference to the thousands of other innocents caught up in this terrible destructive cycle.
Give generously, please. Next year, it could be you.