Life can be serious business.

A Voice For The Motherless.

Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for me. I want to cradle my babies and absorb the blessings that they are; however, I just as much would enjoy telling everyone to go piss off. I don’t have my Mom anymore, so please, keep the ooie gooey convo about how much you love and admire yours, to a low whisper. Please don’t get me wrong, I love to celebrate Mothers. I don’t think we do it enough. But this particular holiday, the one where you celebrate your own Mother…it’s tough.

It’s not memories of past Mother’s days that make me tear up. I don’t have any to remember. It wasn’t until I was 14, that my Mom was stable enough to take care of me. I’ve written before about how saddening it is that when my Mother’s mental stability and addictive demons were finally in a safe place, her body rejected life, and she died from cancer. I was just shy of 16.

Not having a Mother around to celebrate is only half the battle for me this year. What’s just as difficult is coming to terms with what kind of Mother she was. I recently asked an older cousin if she had any memories of my Mom. Her response brought this struggle to the surface again. She said a few, but they weren’t anything I would really want to know. I didn’t push it. I didn’t want to. I know the memories would hurt me and only enforce my inability to sugar coat or glorify who my Mom was.

What’s so tough about her not being here now though, is not being able to ever learn my Mother’s story. I never got to hear her side of things. What it was like being her. I never knew her parents either. Both of them died before I ever got to know them. What effect did her parent’s have on her? What did it mean to her to lose her brother to suicide? What was it like to have your first baby at 15?  Was it the chicken or the egg – did the drugs & alcohol come before the bipolar disorder or after? Where were you, when you weren’t around? Did you want to take care of us and couldn’t, or are you just built differently than me – without a maternal heart.

It’s odd to me that as I think about these questions, I’m not angry. I’ve never been angry at my Mother. When she did pop in for a few years, months, weeks or even days, I was the happiest. It feels strange because it feels like I should be angry at her. She made choices that negatively affected all four of her children and I don’t even know of the damage outside of that. Perhaps I’ve channeled that anger somewhere or at someone else. I don’t know.

Leading up to Mother’s Day is always harder on me than the actual day. My eyes and ears pick up on every thing  – the sappy commercials, the questions about plans and of course, the awkward bump in conversation, when the other person realizes, he is talking to someone that no longer has a Mother to buy flowers for. The overload forces me to think about my Mom and in a sense, mourn her. I mourn her loss, her absence in mine and my children’s life but mostly, I mourn her life. It was cut short at such a tragically ironic time. A life’s big fuck you.

My husband has done a good job of creating a tradition on Mother’s Day, where we go for a nice hike and buy flowers for the garden we planted in honor of my Mom. That always makes the day bearable and actually enjoyable.

So to Motherless Momma’s and Motherless daughters and sons everywhere, don’t feel guilty if you would rather sleep through the day, or even the week before Mother’s Day. You’re not alone. Throw the blanket over your head and go have yourself an ugly cry. And then gather up your babies and celebrate, if you feel like it.

I’ll always raise a glass to my Momma. She gave me life. She gave me qualities that make me a pretty awesome human being. She did the best she could. I’ll always love and cherish her, on Mother’s Day and everyday.







19 thoughts on “A Voice For The Motherless.”

  1. I went through something similar a few weeks ago with the anniversary of my mother’s death. Wondering what the whole story was, though my outcome was different than yours.

    Here’s to you and your family having a great time this weekend with your traditions.

    1. It’s a yearning to know, isn’t it? Regardless of the situation, if you loose your Mother too early, that option is gone. If you’re young when you lose her, I don’t think you are even mature enough to understand she has her own story. That is where I was at back then. Being in my 30’s now, I feel like we would be getting to know each other on a different level now…that’s what I miss the most.

    1. eh…it’s such a twisted and sad part of my life. Of all the things I’ve shared, it’s probably the toughest to talk about my Mom. But processing how I feel through words has helped tremendously.

      Thanks for the hug Twindaddy.

  2. Happy flower planting Dawn:) and you are right, your mother was amazing because she was a ‘mother’. Period. No explanations required. By the way, I like your blog’s new look! Well done:)

    1. Thanks for the feedback on the blog. I really do appreciate that!

      And you’re right…no explanation necessary. 🙂

  3. Oh I’m sorry you’re suffering. I don’t know what it’s like, but maybe I can understand a little. My grandmother died when my mum was two weeks old and left behind 5 children. My mum was adopted while the rest of the siblings stayed in the family home. I know she feels guilty and blames herself in a way for her death (which was a complication of childbirth). I see her sadness at never knowing her mother and being raised as a only child instead of being with her siblings.
    You are an awesome human being!
    And I like your tradition of hiking to the garden. I can imagine that would help a lot.
    Big hugs xx

    1. Thank you Olivia. Our annual hike definitely helps. There is something about peacefully walking through the woods that makes me feel connected to my Mom. And adding to the garden we planted every year is something I look forward to.

      Oh your poor Mom. I can relate to that sad feeling of never know, definitely. It’s something I’ve had to or am still working on making peace with. I’ll get there.

  4. Really just so gracefully and gorgeously written, Dawn. I also think your husband is a real keeper. I hope Sunday (and every day) arrives with peace and serenity with your own children. Thank you for this post.

    1. Thank you Stephanie. The hubs is definitely a keeper, you’re right about that. And thank you for the positive thoughts. I’m sure Sunday will bring a little peace…moving through it usually hurts less than moving towards it. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  5. Sorry to hear the pain this day can create for you. It’s sad when a day that should feel good comes with pain. Not the same, but Christmas can be a little bittersweet in our family as we lost my grandmother one Christmas. But there were all good memories before. It’s nice your husband has created you traditions for the day.

  6. Thank you for giving me the idea of creating a new tradition on Mother-less Day. It is rough for me, but my story is far from yours. Thank you for sharing and I hope you find peace and joy this Mother’s Day and always…

    1. I hope you do create your own tradition. I’d love to hear about it if you do. No matter how different our stories are, the pain of losing your Mother is like no other.

  7. She was so young! So sad for you all. It’s impressive that she was getting her life together before it was cut short. It’s never easy and she clearly had a few demons to wrestle.

    It’s a hard one for me this year too; the first since my mum died. I might go to the plant nursery too and spend the afternoon planting veggies and flowers. That’s what I did instead of going to her funeral. It was a better way to spend the day. 🙂

    1. That had to of been a much easier and heart fullfilling way to spend that day. The grieving process is something that evolves. Mourning comes in so many forms. Even laughter I believe. I hope that you enjoy your garden tomorrow. It sounds crazy probably but I try to pick up a cool rock every year on our hike and add it to the garden.

  8. I adore this. I’m so sorry for your many losses. Her absence when she was here. Being gone by the time you became a woman. Missing the birth of her grandchildren. I understand all of these things all too well. Let’s raise a glass together for the other motherless children and to our own, mothers. xo

    1. Thanks Jen. I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day. It was a beautiful day here and we spent it outside allll day. Even got a little sunburn to show for it 🙂

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