I became motherless a few days after my sixteenth birthday. My aunt told me that I would never, ever again feel the pain that I had experienced in that summer of 1994. Somehow that became my survival inspiration. I was going to live the rest of my life without that kind of anguish again because, well, I’d just hit my quota of pain earlier in life. Amazing.

Now, over twenty years later I know that there is no set amount of suffering created specifically for one’s life. You can never know when your worst moment becomes one of the better ones compared to what’s ahead.

For me, the bomb that dropped in the form of her passing has continued to lay out debris over the years. Bits of it during heartbreak in my 20s, being lost and restless, my wedding, the births of my three babies and so on.

But as you motherless mothers know, there is something about your own baby being born that clears away some of that debris. You never stop missing your mother, but becoming one takes the sting of ‘less’ out of mother for you now.

I hope my mom, wherever she is, is watching over my sister and I and our 7 kids, and she’s smiling. I wish all of you motherless mothers a very happy mother’s day, because today is the day we can feel a little bit of sadness, but a whole lot of gratitude.


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