Thoughts on Mother’s Day from a Motherless Daughter…
Okay, so I’m obviously not motherless. I had a mother, a wonderful mother, who died nine years ago. My mother was sort of like the quintessential mother: a true caretaker, a true nurturer. She was the kind of mother that always loved me completely and unconditionally, even when I was a messed up, drug-addled kid.
I was heartbroken when she died. Not even just heartbroken, but like my heart was empty, a hollow, fragile shell of what it had been. I felt lost, alone, weak, scared, motherless. It was like the main peg that held my family together was suddenly jerked out and my family lay in pieces, shattered, all over the place. I lay in pieces, shattered, all over the place.
May is the worst month. My mom’s deathday is on May 5, her birthday is May 18, and then, of course, Mother’s Day. A beautiful day filled with gifts, gratitude, flowers — except for me, it is a painful reminder every year of what I have lost. Of all the moments that are lost. I will never again be able to share inside jokes with my mom, hear her giggly laugh. I will never again eat her amazing cooking, do crafts with her, hug her…
It’s mostly the regret that gets me down. The regret that she never got to see me as a woman.
I have a death altar where I honor my mother. I burn candles, bring her favorite foods. I remember all she was; try to have an honest view of her as person, with all her flaws and perfection. It’s a place where I can feel closer to her, to dream her smile. It never gets easier. I still feel motherless, like an orphan.
But I am grateful I had such a beautiful mother, even for so short a time…I know others aren’t as lucky. You may feel motherless for completely different reasons than me. Maybe your mother was never a mother at all…maybe she was abusive, or absent either physically or emotionally, maybe she withheld love, was manipulative, hurtful, and unsupportive. To whom can we motherless daughters look to on Mother’s Day?
I have a lot of amazing women in my life. Creative, strong, intelligent, honest, hilarious, supportive women. I have two precious sisters who reflect so much of my mother sometimes it hurts. I take parts, pieces from them all, all these amazing women, and reassemble those pieces into a mother. They are all mothers to me in so many ways, forming the person that I am and am becoming. So this Mother’s Day, I honor the woman who birthed me and all the women in my life who continue to birth me. I honor myself and hope to one day love myself as unconditionally as my mother loved me, as everyone deserves to be loved.
So motherless daughters love all your mommas, whoever or where ever they are. Even if you are your only real mother, buy yourself flowers this Mother’s Day. And maybe some wine and chocolates, too.