“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.”
“I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”
“I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.”
To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight to my heart.
It’s not that I’m jealous (okay, maybe I am a little bit jealous if I’m being honest). I’m truly thankful for my friends and all the women out there who have their mothers to lean on through the difficult journey of raising children.
I believe every woman deserves to have an unshakable rock in her corner to support her through all the trials motherhood throws her way.
Most of the time, that’s her own mom. But the thing is, I can’t say the same for myself.
Seven and a half years ago, my life was divided—forever marked with a before and after timestamp. The first 26 years of my life had been spent taking my relationship with my mom for granted. I loved her and cherished her but just assumed she would always be there for me. Then in 2015, the after part of my life began when she was murdered in a completely and utterly unimaginable domestic violence incident.
That day began the part of my life when I no longer had a mother.
I was also nearly seven months pregnant with my first child. At a time in life when most women are finding themselves drawn even closer to their mothers than ever before through a shared experience, suddenly I found every thread of connection with my mom severed for the rest of my life. I had no guidebook, no maternal advice to turn to.
I suddenly found myself in the position of trying to navigate pregnancy and first-time motherhood while also grieving the inexplicable loss of my own mom. Thinking back on that time now, I can’t help but shed tears, not only for my mom but for myself. I was so incredibly lost, scared, and alone—despite the best efforts of the women closest to me. Yes, you can turn to family, to church, to friends, but there’s no substitute for the woman who gave birth to you and loves you more than any other earthly being.
These days, I find myself forging my own path through motherhood while trying to raise my four young children the best I can alongside my husband.
I may be motherless, but thankfully, the love and wisdom my mom faithfully poured into me growing up serves as something of a blueprint for me.
She might not physically be here to answer my questions or babysit my kids, but her love and knowledge are still within me, and I draw upon that when I question where to turn next. Her dedication to her family and God laid the foundation for me, and now I can build upon that within my own family, for my own children.
I’m so thankful to have had a mother who was intentional in every decision she made, who modeled what motherhood should look like (even if I didn’t always like it growing up), and who took the time to ensure that she raised me in such a way that I would be able to continue on . . . even in her absence.
Her life may have been cut short, but her legacy lives on—and for that, I am forever grateful.