Feelings always get a little raw for me as the month of May rolls around. Stores are full of cards and flowers, brunches are advertised and reservations are made. Unfortunately though, there is a large group of women who are not buying gifts or making plans. We are motherless daughters, and I feel it is safe to say that Mother’s Day is hard on all of us.
I was seven when I lost my mother to breast cancer. This will be my twenty-third Mother’s Day without the amazing woman who brought me into the world. Unfortunately, I have few memories. But what I do know from my dad and other family members is that she loved my sister and I with every single ounce of her being. She was the type of woman whose whole existence centered around her children.
Being a motherless daughter meant a lot of milestones that were missed. Everything from middle school, high school, proms, graduations, college, etc. and all of the less significant, yet character-building experiences in between. While I had some amazingly strong women in my life, nothing compares to the woman who brought you into the world.
Mother’s Day changed for me almost 4 years ago when I became a mother myself. I’m a sucker for the handmade cards and gifts from my daughters. While it stings a little less in recent years because I can reflect on my beautiful daughters, it has also made me think about the transition from motherless daughter to motherless mother.
One would think the transition could be smooth, especially for someone who was so young and doesn’t really remember a life with their mother in it. Of course, I thought of her when I found out I was expecting for the first time, as I have with every other major event in my life. As my belly and my anxiety grew, I wanted nothing more than to know how her pregnancies went. How did she find out? How did she tell my dad? What possessed her to wallpaper the nursery with Smurfs? How did she know when she was going into labor, and what were her deliveries like? Maybe she wouldn’t have remembered a lot of the details, but I have a feeling she would have calmed all of my nerves somehow.
I was so blessed that my first born was such a great newborn. There were still moments though when I could really have used her wisdom. Especially in recent months when this now threenager has developed quite a sassy attitude. When my youngest daughter arrived a couple years later, of course, I thought I was a pro and wouldn’t need any help. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were moments when I would have given just about anything to be able to call up my mom, have a meltdown, suck it up and move on. I want to know if I was like this at my daughter’s age. I want to know what my mother’s greatest challenges were with my sister and me when we were young. She was an amazing mother and she would have been overjoyed to be a grandmother.
As my daughters grow up they will hear about their Grandma Jill. They will know how much we all wish they could have met her and witnessed her infectious laugh. While Mother’s Day has gotten better in recent years, it will always be hard on those of us without one. If you have the opportunity to pick up the phone at any given moment and call your mother, and if she is a regular part of your children’s lives, please take a moment and be thankful for such a wonderful gift.