Her scream was primal. She cried out in pain, grasping her stomach, “MOMMY, MOMMY . . .”

I raced up the stairs and scooped her up into my arms. Her eyes soaked with tears. I brought her to the playroom and placed her on the couch. She couldn’t stop crying.

It was her stomach.

I stroked her back as she cried some more. Her head was pressed against a pillow on the couch, brown eyes tear-stricken and half-closed from exhaustion. She arched her back with each wave of pain.

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“I want Mommy,” she repeated even though I was right by her side, with words, with strokes on her back and forehead, with unconditional love.

And she felt it. She just wanted to make sure because her heavy-lidded eyes kept falling shut.

We always want our mommies when we’re not feeling well. Because moms are our comfort.

I picked her up and rocked her slowly as her tears soaked my chest. With a big recovering breath, she pulled away, blinking lashes heavy with tears before she collapsed again on my chest. 

I wanted to take away her pain so badly. It hurt me so deeply that all I could do was hold onto her.

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But, my mind ricocheted to when I’m sick, and I, too, want my mommy.  

Because even when you’re a mom yourself, you still need your own mom.

And it’s not because we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. It’s because we want someone to hold us and love us until the pain goes away.

And a mom’s warm embrace is exactly what we need to start the healing process.

Because even though mamas can’t take away our children’s pain, we can love them through it all.

And there’s no love in this world as strong and powerful as a mother’s love.

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And so, I just held her close.

And I’ll always hold her whenever she needs me for the rest of my life.

Because that’s what mamas do.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Dani Sherman-Lazar

Dani Sherman-Lazar is an eating disorder advocate, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to three daughters. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook. Her book Living Full: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorders is available on Amazon.