There are a lot of mother-daughter memories I never had the chance to make with my mom.

Memories that have come and gone without her, that I’ve spent many sleepless nights praying circles around, standing firm with God that my daughter will one day have. 

I will be at her wedding. I will hold her babies. I will show up to clean her dishes and make her soup when she’s sick or when she needs nothing more than someone to call.

When sickness steals a mother far before her time, it does more than just steal the person you love.

It steals a lifetime of memories you and your person had yet to make. When I lost Mom, I lost an entire life we should have had together, grieving all of the supposed-tos that suddenly and permanently became never-wills.

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Hugs we would never share. Belly-laughs that would undoubtedly bring us to tears. Silly texts and late-night calls and visits left to my imagination that would never really exist. When I lost Mom, I mourned much of my own life along with hersboth the life we shared and the life we never would.

I sat at the edge of my daughter’s bed not long ago, rubbing her aching legs.

It was dark, and my 4-year old’s face was smooshed into her pillow as she squirmed from growth pains until the touch of her mama’s hand finally helped her slip into sleep.

I stayed watching her for a while, transported in memory to my own childhood bedroom where my mother once sat at the edge of my bed, in the dark, rubbing my aching legs until I fell asleep.

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I closed my eyes then, lost somewhere between being a daughter and being a mother, and thought to myself, this is the place where redemption lives.

It wasn’t until I had a daughter of my own that I discovered the many redemptive gifts motherhood had waiting for me.

Gifts I’m unwrapping every single day, with every late-night leg massage and every laugh shared between us.

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A daughter to a motherless daughter is one of God’s most loving ways of redeeming the many somedays stolen with new somedays that can’t possibly replace, but can absolutely restore memories lost with new memories just waiting to be found.

For every laugh Mom and I would have shared, I share one extra with my own daughter, and I treasure the melody our laughs together make. It reminds me of a sweet song I used to know. 

Shawna Kaszer

Shawna Kaszer is a storyteller whose work spans film, theater, and most recently her book Mountains Into Roads: One Woman's Adventure On The Road Between Losing A Mother And Becoming A Mother. She is fiercely determined to see women and men find freedom, healing, and wholeness. Shawna and her husband run KZRHouse where she leads identity and story, working with passionate forerunners and innovators on mission to help change the world. She is co-founder of The Future Is Family ( a social impact shop focused on the pivotal role of family in the transformation of culture. Shawna lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Chad, their two young children (third on the way!), and their puppy P.T. Barnum. Her favorite days are simple and sweet, getting dirty in the garden with her family, or sticky on the front porch eating ice-cream. You can check out her recent film and more about her book at