I’ve read countless articles on mothering without a mother. Each one is heartbreaking. Each one tears me to my core; and yet, my mother is alive. I am extremely fortunate to have my mother with me through my own motherhood journey. Especially when I know so many others who have gone without.

The truth is, I’m terrified of losing her.

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My mother has been there with me for every big event in my life with me. Losing my first tooth, showing me how to shave my legs, helping me get dressed for the prom, crying over a broken heart, staying up with me the night before my wedding, and both of my boys’ births. I have not once taken these moments for granted. I’m so thankful for every moment I have with her.

Yet, something constantly eats me alive. I’m plagued with the inevitable fear of living without her.

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One day I will have to tell my boys that their Nanny is in Heaven. For someone who has lived with anxiety the majority of her life, this is something that weighs me down. When I was about 6 years old, I remember asking my mom “Will you promise me that you will live forever and nothing will ever happen to you?” She answered as best as she could. She said “I will always try to be here for you. But remember that no matter what, I love you.”

No matter what, I love you.

That phrase is what I always say to my older son whenever he asks me similar questions. I notice the same fears in him, that I have had my entire life. Whenever he is acting out and knows that I’m disappointed in his choices, I always say to him “I’m disappointed in the choices that you made, but no matter what, I love you.”

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How fortunate am I that I still have my mother here? How fortunate am I that I can call her anytime I want? I’m so fortunate for this time; the precious time that others didn’t get to have. Time . . . the only thing that I truly believe has solid value. It is irreplaceable; once it’s gone there is no getting it back.

For those of you who still have your mother; for those of you who cherish the woman who has used her own time to love and raise you; thank her and love her. Because no matter what, she loves you. For those who are missing your mother, no matter what, she loves you, too.

I will continue to cherish each moment that I have with my mother.

I will continue to FaceTime call her, track her phone, and find her multiple times per day. I will continue to embrace the fact that I got to have her for so many of life’s important phases. I am lucky and I’ll never forget that. I will always love my mother no matter what.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Holly Dignen

Holly Dignen is a Stay-At-Home Mom of two boys. She is also one of three Kid's Event Chairpersons for her neighborhood community. She has her Master's degree in Elementary Education and several years of teaching under her belt. When she isn't spending time with her beautiful family, she is volunteering or writing.