I tend to express more grief on the day my
mother was born than the day that she died. A little
baby girl entered the world as innocent as my own, and then
endured four lifetimes worth of struggle in 46 short years.
That’s a tough pill for me to swallow. Even harder because
I am her baby girl. Having said that,
today marks the eve of her death 17 years ago and I am missing her
terribly. It’s always the days leading up to anniversaries
and holidays that are the hardest for me. In honor of her,
myself and other Motherless Moms, I wanted
to share this post I wrote early on. I tried
to capture the essence of losing her and what it means to me at
this point in my life. For me, it’s hard to find
the words to convey what it is like to be a Motherless
daughter. It means something different at every stage in my
life. Hope Edelman wrote in her book “Motherless
Daughters” about wanting to shout
to everyone that her mom died
because it sums up so much of who she is. I get
that. The only thing that has impacted me greater than losing
my Mom at the age of 15 has been becoming a Mom myself. Not all of
the sadness comes from not having that
person who you know above all would answer your call or would
have a piece of advice whether or not you want it. My
sadness has morphed in to comprehending the absence of time
needed to know your mom beyond being your Mom. My
Mother was a beautiful kind of chaos. A kind of chaos
that rears it’s fury all over my own thoughts, reactions and
emotions. I know it’s there…I can feel the
connection. I just wish I could
see it in her eyes these days.
That my daughter could see the
fragile thread that exists between me and the woman that
created me so that when she gets older, she’ll be able to not
only see but understand and embrace
of crazy we share. My Mother’s battle with mental
illness and addictions prevented her version of mothering to be
found in any how-to book; however, I still crave to know what her
answers would have been to the questions I need to ask her about
how I am suppose to mother.
It’s unsettling that no matter how dysfunctional
or even neglectful your Mother may be, you still
love her and want her in your life. She is the first
piece of my story and it is the piece I know the least about
because of the point in my, and her ,life when I lost her. No
body goes to a school and learns the tricks of the trade on
parenting but most have that go-to professor she calls
Mom. That’s the void that I live with in my heart.
However, I have been blessed with women landing in my life for
reasons I am just now starting to really understand. Women
that if were asked to gather in a small space, would form
a shape that fits perfectly inside the void in my heart left
when my Mom died. These women have molded me by
offering divinely designed doses of lessons my Mom may or may not
have been able to teach me… had she had enough time. These
women, have taken many forms. A sister that cared for me (and
still does) when there was no body left to do the job and
that understood that her sheer presence in my life was a
matter of tipping the scales towards history NOT repeating
itself. A teacher who created lesson plans out of thin
air just so she could carry me under her wing for a little
while longer. A co-worker and friend that gave me a
glimpse of what recovery could have looked like for my own Mother
and shared her many lessons learned along the way. A coach
that hugged me and then told me to get up when I fell and try
harder. A friend that no matter how dark or mundane it gets,
has the power to raise me up and keep me laughing. A boss
that didn’t accept my judgments of people presenting weaker than me
and pointed my heart in the right direction to help instead of
judge. A college professor that supported my quest to
identify a diagnosis that best suited my Mother’s actions and
personality. Not one but two single Moms who
opened their doors to me when I rebelled the hardest and
needed love the most. A soul sister’s Mother who embodied
what a Mother should look like and taught me the power of
prayer. And a woman, my Mother’s,
brother’s daughter, who by no coincidence, I connected
with to ensure that I knew I was not alone. So Mom…I say
this to you with a broken but healing heart. I
understand why you couldn’t be the one to parent and/or, in
the flesh, support me in parenting my own. The only
beauty in your departure has been the grace in which these other
Moms have and continue to imprint my life. I have grown
from a Mother-less daughter to a daughter or many Mothers.
I tend to express more grief on the day my
15 thoughts on “Motherless Mom.”
Love you!! I’m ALWAYS here if you need me no matter what!!
I know that girl…and that goes both ways. xoxo
That absolutely gave me the chills. What a beautiful expression of how life is without your mom, and how wonderful it is when other moms step up. My own mom died (way too soon) at 79, and I still yearn for her to show me how to be a grandmother and mother. My heart goes with you. – Fawn
“My heart goes with you”…I love that. Thanks for commenting. I’m so close to this one, I wasn’t sure if I painted the picture of missing her and living without her that I wanted.
I liked this for your writing…and your strength.
very beautiful piece. it takes a village…
Are you going to audition for a Listen to Your Mother show? I think these are powerful words that could resonate with a lot of people. It did me. I’ve seen my mother ache to have her mother around (she lost her when she was young) and I’ve seen the power that comes from many mothers helping one soul. I’m sorry for the sad anniversary you experienced this week.
Thank you for the kind words. I have to admit though, I’m not sure what the listen to your mother show is. ??
Google it and watch some of the youtube videos. It’s an annual performance done by writers reading pieces they’ve written about motherhood. The auditions are being announced now on their facebook page.
You caught me just as I was starting to watch some of the videos. I’m quite honored you would think that my writing is worthy of this. Thank you. As far as I can tell so far, the closest audition to me would NYC which is four hours away. Maybe a little road trip is in order (=
I also lost my mother young I was 21, this was beautiful being a motherless daughter you feel so alone seeing people have their mother’s. I always feel a slight jealousy when see other mothers & daughter’s & wish she was here but I always feel some comfort knowing there are other people who know how I feel xoxo.
Seeing other women with their Moms or hearing about the relationship they have is always difficult. Even on my best day. You are definitely not alone; however, I can definitely relate to feeling that way. I’m glad you found this particular post. xoxo
Thanks Dawn & Congrats on being Freshly pressed 😉