“Motherless Mother” is a term I never thought I would give myself. I always envisioned going through the motherhood stage of my life with my mom right by my side. She was there for me through all the difficult and joyful events of my life up until her passing. Countless times I have wished to pick up the phone and call her. I used to vent about everything and anything with her. She was always a willing listener and a voice of reason on the other side of the phone. 

It has been 8 years since her passing. A part of me feels like the same person she knew and another part feels so different. I was 25 when she passed and had just gotten married. No babies in sight and only a life full of memories to be had. We had just moved into our first home only 15 minutes away from my parents one month before she passed. She was so excited when she heard I was moving closer to home. “I’m getting my daughter back,” she told me. 

My mom and I on my wedding day in 2011. One of the last photos I have with her.

My mom had stage 4 ovarian cancer that was caught too late. I can remember her telling me the news and then promptly googling what that meant. Google told me that few women survive at that stage. You never think it will happen to you or someone close to you. Cliche, but true. Those memories of getting the middle of the night phone call and rushing to the hospital only to find out it was too late are still haunting.

She was taken too soon, as most of our loved ones who pass away. 

These are things I would tell my mom today-

When you passed, I called your work to listen to your voicemail message. I have so many memories of hearing your voicemail at work because I called it so much as a child. It was comforting to hear you still on there sounding so normal. 

It took me a very long time to delete your phone number from my phone

We have a memorial scholarship in your name. I know you would never believe something like this would happen because I know you didn’t feel important. You took care of literally everyone else before yourself. Even after you are gone from us, you are helping others. 

I cherish photos and videos of you and your voice more than I could’ve ever known. I searched for every video with you in it, just to see you and hear you again. I worry about forgetting what your voice sounded like. 

You have two beautiful granddaughters, Willa and Daphne. 

Willa reminds me SO much of you. She loves rummage sales, M&Ms, and can make friends with anyone. I feel that she was meant to come into our lives shortly after your passing. I was afraid to be a motherless mother. I was afraid to do it without you. I’m still afraid, but I have learned so much from watching you and feeling the love you felt for me. I am passing on that love to my own girls now. 

I miss you like crazy and wonder what you would think of what the world is like right now.

I won’t ever, ever forget you. 

It’s not hard to talk about my mom.

It never has been hard to talk about her. A secret about talking with someone that has lost a loved one- they want you to talk about them. When you talk about a loved one who has passed away, it’s not sad. It keeps their memory alive. We can smile and remember the good times together. We can remember how funny my mom was and how much she loved us. She had the best sense of humor and we would laugh uncontrollably together.

If you’re a mom without a mom, know that you’re not alone. It’s not easy, but we’re doing the best we can raising our kids and that’s what matters most.  I’m so thankful to have wonderful family, friends, and my awesome husband who has been a huge support for me. It’s not what I thought life would be like, but it’s a reminder to be thankful for what I have and not take others for granted.